A sharp rise in coronavirus infection rates in Wolverhampton over the last few days has put the city at real risk of a local lockdown.
Latest data shows there were an average of 27.09 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton over the seven days up to 5 September, up from 12.6 cases per 100,000 for the seven days to 29 August.
John Denley, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Covid-19 infection rates in Wolverhampton have more than doubled in a week, mainly driven by a big increase in cases among 18 to 30-year-olds.
“This is an urgent reminder that all of us – especially young adults – need to play our part in preventing the spread of coronavirus if we are to keep people safe and if we are to avoid a local lockdown.
“We’ve already seen that year groups at a couple of schools in Wolverhampton have had to self-isolate because of case of Covid-19 within their bubbles. We’ve also had to take the difficult decision to put a stop to all non-essential visiting to care homes so that we protect some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.
“Meanwhile, as a council we’ve had to take enforcement action against one business which was failing its customers by not acting in a Covid-secure manner.
“While the vast majority of residents and businesses are continuing to do their bit – practicing social distancing, good handwashing and wearing face coverings where required – others have relaxed far too much. If they don’t start taking this seriously right now, they will put Wolverhampton at a very real risk of facing additional lockdown measures.
“It’s important to stress that young people are not immune to this awful virus and the experience in other countries is that rising cases among young people brings the virus into the homes of older and more vulnerable adults, with increases in cases among young people often followed several weeks later by rises in hospitalisation and deaths.
“We simply cannot afford that to happen here and the steps we all must take to prevent the spread of coronavirus are very clear. No one wants another lockdown so now is the time for everyone – and younger people in particular – to ensure they do their bit because coronavirus remains a real and present danger to us all.”
To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:
• keep washing your hands regularly
• wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces, unless you are exempt for medical reasons or under 11
• stay at least a metre away from people not in your household or bubble, ideally two metres
Most importantly, if you or any members of your household or bubble have symptoms of Covid-19, no matter how mild, please stay home, self-isolate for 10 days and book a coronavirus test as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Covid-19 include a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. To book a test, please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. Anyone who would like support booking a test can call the council’s Book a Test Team on 01902 290244 weekdays between 9am and 4pm.
Wolverhampton has three walk-through test centres, at Showell Road, off Stafford Road, at the council-run Mountford Lane car park in Bilston and in the car park of Whitmore Reans Health Centre, which are open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.
Please note that demand for testing is currently high. There are a limited number of tests available at local test sites without the need for appointments. However, this is subject to varying daily demand levels so booking in advance is recommended.
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.
John added: “The test is free, only takes a few minutes and, combined with the Test and Trace programme, will enable us to track the spread of the virus, identify trends early on and better tackle potential outbreaks.
“By doing all this, you will be protecting yourself, your family and the wider community – and help us to avoid a local lockdown.”
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/stay-safe-be-kind.
Notes to editors:
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• Issued by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Communications Team.
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