Sandwell Council today issued an urgent warning to people to act now to combat a sharp spike in COVID 19 cases in Smethwick.
Council public health experts are working round the clock with people in the area, businesses and community venues to make sure safety guidelines are followed.
Director of Public Health Dr Lisa McNally said she had been alerted to a rise in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Smethwick area.
She said: “The numbers are changing all the time. We have seen 28 cases in the last 14 days which is significantly higher than we would expect based on previous figures and it is changing all the time so we expect it to rise again.
“A pattern is emerging showing the infection affecting higher numbers of people in a small number of properties, two, three and four people sometimes in one household – often in multi-generational households – rather than lots of single cases across a lot of households.
“I know it isn’t easy but it’s very important that if someone is infected, they isolate themselves from the rest of their household as much as they possibly can, especially from elderly people.
“This rise in cases reminds us that the virus hasn’t gone away. We can’t afford to drop our guard. If we experience symptoms then we must self-isolate at home and get tested. Anyone in the same household also needs to self-isolate. Doing this saves lives.”
“We can protect ourselves and those we live with by keeping at least 1 metre apart from others. Wearing a face covering when on public transport or when shopping also reduces the spread of the virus.
“We are not at a point where we are looking at a ‘lockdown’ situation like in Leicester. But we will keep monitoring the situation carefully and we really need everyone to follow the guidance.”
The advice is:
Do not wait
Book a free and easy test as soon as you think you may have symptoms, such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Check NHS guidance here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
Get a test
It is so easy to get a free test – please use the NHS 111 online service:
Or simply dial 119.
There is ‘drive through’ testing available for Sandwell as well as home testing kits.
Stay at home
If you are getting a test, you and anyone you live with must stay at home and self-isolate until you get your result and follow advice after a test.
Anyone in your support bubble must also self-isolate until you get your result.
Social distancing, hand washing and face coverings
Be strict in keeping your distance from people not in your household – 2 metres apart where possible. Keep washing your hands regularly and limit contact with other people.
Stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can and wear a face covering especially if you are in an ‘indoors’ environment.
NHS Test and Trace
You will be contacted by the NHS Test & Trace service if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
You will be asked where you’ve been recently and who you’ve been in close contact with. Please help them to give good full information so they can help others.
This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you.
The public needs to be alert to NHS Test and Trace and follow their advice: