“Residents are being reminded to take extra care to prevent the spread of coronavirus and help Avoid a Local Lockdown – with everyone urged to get tested if they have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild”said Councillor Phil Bateman this morning. He went onto say ” This information contained here is so important for every resident here in Wednesfield North and the City of Wolverhampton. We need to keep our infection rates down. They are rising in our City and locally in Sandwell. We cannot afford another Lockdown. Please follow the guidance, take the safety precautions. We are a long way away from being in a position where we can go back to what was our normal lives. It is down to you and your family to do the right things. handwashing protective masks, and staying at home when you can.”
It follows a recent increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 in Wolverhampton and other parts of the country.
There were an average of 12.2 cases per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton in the seven days up to today (27 July) compared to 2.7 cases per 100,000 a week before. Many of these new cases have been linked to family clusters or contacts of known cases.
Further changes to the guidance around Covid-19 came into effect on Friday, when it became mandatory to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, takeaways and transport hubs, in addition to on public transport and for hospital patients and visitors where they were already required.
People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in other enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet and social distancing is more difficult. Face coverings are not mandatory for anyone under the age of 11 and those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering.
More businesses, including indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, were also allowed to reopen on Saturday, provided they were Covid-secure.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “The reopening of more businesses over the weekend, including our WV Active leisure centres, was of course very welcome news, but the spike in cases we have seen in Wolverhampton and other parts of the country over the past week or so is an important reminder that coronavirus has not gone away.
“If we were to let down our guard and allow the virus to begin spreading more easily, we risk not only a second wave of cases and more deaths, but also the re-imposition of lockdown measures as we have seen in places like Leicester and Blackburn in recent weeks.
“We need to do all we can to ensure that we avoid a local lockdown in Wolverhampton, and we all have a key role to play in this. It is absolutely vital that if anyone choses to go out they must stay alert to reduce the risk of transmission.
“We also urgently need people to get tested if they have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.
“If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, or you feel you have put yourself at risk of exposure to Covid-19, you must get a test.
“The test is quick and easy, and a crucial tool in stopping the spread of coronavirus. We have a great deal of capacity in Wolverhampton, with two drive through test centres and plans to open a number of walk through centres in the near future, so there’s no excuse not to book a test if you need one.
“Please also carry on social distancing and wear a face covering where it is required, unless you are excused for doing so for any particular reason; we are pleased to see that the vast majority of retailers are enforcing the rules and I would urge everyone to do their bit and follow the guidelines.”
For more information, and to apply for a Covid-19 test, please go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 119. All appointments must be booked in advance. Anyone in Wolverhampton who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to isolate and share information about people that have been close contacts recently.
Residents are reminded they must continue to:
• stay at home as much as possible
• limit contact with other people
• keep your distance if you go out, at least 2m or 1m-plus if 2m is not possible
• wash your hands regularly.
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