Coronavirus updates for Essex on Gateway 97.8

Welcome to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page, which is regularly updated. We are still bringing you the latest news on air, alongside a Coronavirus Update at 5:30pm every Friday evening, which has been running since March 2020.

For the Gateway Response page, click here.

Here’s the latest Coronavirus Update with Johnny Jenkins:

Johnny is on air every Friday at 5:30pm and on Sunday mornings from 9-12 with the latest news.



700 Basildon residents have died with COVID-19, a total which has risen by 1 in the past week. (As of 20th May).

584 Thurrock residents have died with COVID-19, a total which has risen by 0 in the past week. (As of 20th May).

Our thoughts are with the friends and family suffering from their loss. You can find the latest government figures by clicking here.


The trend of coronavirus cases in Basildon is decreasing. The rate per 100k population is at 65.6 (As of 20th May).

The trend of coronavirus cases in Thurrock is increasing. The rate per 100k population is at 68.4 (As of 20th May).

Both are below the national average.

The new Omicron Covid variant has been identified in the UK.

But how is this affecting us? The Director of Public Health for Essex, Dr Mike Gogarty has been speaking with political editor Johnny Jenkins:

Recorded in January 2022

Hospital admissions across Mid and South Essex (Basildon, Broomfield and Southend) are up 4% on last week. (As of 31st October).

You can find the latest government figures by clicking here.


Across Mid and South Essex (Basildon, Broomfield and Southend), 2,476,185 vaccines have been distributed. 919,221 are first dose vaccines, 870,419 are second dose vaccines and 686,545 are third vaccine doses. (As of 19th May)

These figures are updated weekly, on Thursdays. Data is available here.

Vaccines are currently being distributed. Any adult can book their two doses and booster jab on the NHS website or by calling the free phone number 119.

Johnny spoke to the Vaccines Minister to dispel some myths. Click here to listen.

Johnny spoke to Gateway presenter Ros Connors about her vaccination experience:

Vaccines are safe and effective, but there may be some side effects.


Free asymptomatic testing is available for all. You are encouraged to get tested twice weekly. Book home delivery tests and find out more at


If you test positive via a lateral flow test and have no symptoms, you are advised to immediately isolate and not book a PCR test. If you experience a cough, fever or change in smell/taste, then you are advised to isolate for 10 days and book a test. If you are double-jabbed and test negative on Day 5 and Day 6, you can be released early.


All shops are open. It is optional to wear to a face covering in shops and on public transport.

Shops at Basildon Market are open. We encourage you to support local businesses.

Local events

Our Kelly’s Diary service has returned. Hear it on air every weekday or visit

The Towngate Theatre, in Basildon, is open again. To get the latest Towngate information, listen to the weekly update on Drivetime on Fridays at 16:35.

Essex Coronavirus Action group

The Essex Coronavirus Action is a collaboration between Essex County Council, The Essex Public Health Team, and local Facebook group owners to provide three main services during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

For more information on the action group, click here.

Mental health and wellbeing

Isolation can be a very difficult experience. If you are struggling, our friends at the Happy Hub have a lot of resources on their Facebook page. Just click here.

Be sure to check this page regularly for updates and for all the latest information, tune in to our Coronavirus Update every Friday evening at 5:30pm.

Click here for Gateway Response!