Coronavirus: Public urged to ‘Step Up’ as Shropshire sees rise in Covid-19 case numbers

14 October 2020 12:28pm

Issued by Shropshire Council:

Shropshire’s Director of Public Health is once again urging the public to follow the government’s coronavirus guidelines, following a sharp rise in cases.

Last week in Shropshire saw a further 222 confirmed cases, and Shropshire Council are strongly encouraging people of all ages, particularly the younger and working age population, to continue to play their part and help the county avoid further restrictions and a lockdown.

Shropshire rate is currently at 69.3 per 100,000. 60% of Shropshire’s cases are also happening outside of occupational settings.

The UK Government confirmed the county will be placed in Tier 1 on the new COVID-19 alert system. Restrictions in place include the rule of six – which means that no more than six people can gather together – either indoors or outdoors.

Shropshire Council’s Public Health Team, in partnership with colleagues from Public Health England, continue to manage and contain local outbreaks.

The Council has also undertaken community engagement work in those parts of the county that had seen the highest number of new cases to reinforce important public health guidance and advice.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “Almost every area of Shropshire at the time of writing is experiencing a rise in cases, and across all age groups.

“This time last month we had 29 cases in a week– now we have 222 cases so this shows how rapidly the virus can spread.

“COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon and it remains a danger across our community. I need to be brutally honest with people – if the infection rates continue to rise like they have done in recent weeks – we will be facing tougher restrictions and a local lockdown.

“This isn’t a time to pause and do nothing, we need everyone to follow the measures designed to keep ourselves and our loved ones.

“We are asking people to be even more vigilant about the basic steps. It means keeping two metres from people you do not live with, wear face coverings and wash hands.

“Please limit the number of times you come into contact with others outside your household or bubble – whether it’s in a shop, at the school gates or meeting friends. This will help reduce the rising rate of transmission.

“If you have symptoms, please stay at home, self-isolate and book a test.  Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

“The power is in our hands. If we all step up and do our part, we can cut the rates of infection.”

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said: “We will do whatever we can to help our vulnerable residents, support businesses and protect each other against COVID-19.

“Overall, Salopians have been observing these measures. However, we can’t shy away from the fact that infection rates in Shropshire are on the up, and this is an increasing concern.

“The reality is further restrictions and lockdown are a just around the corner; we need to get a handle on our infection rates.

“We have stepped up our efforts across the county as we look to tackle the spread of the virus. As well as responding to local outbreaks and supporting our schools, we have asked care homes to suspend all but essential visits.

“We are also working closely with local businesses to ensure that they are following Government guidance to keep customers and workers safe as well as increasing communications to residents. But we cannot do this without everyone’s help.

“The best way for us all to protect ourselves and each other from the virus is to maintain social distancing of two metres where possible, wash our hands more frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching our faces and wearing a face covering when required.

“Tests can be booked for yourself or any member of your household, if they have symptoms. All tests must be booked in advance. Residents can register online or by calling NHS Test and Trace on 119.”

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We cannot get complacent about the very real threat of COVID-19 and make no mistake it is here in the County. With the number of cases continuing to rise, I am calling on the people of Shropshire to help support their local NHS by ensuring they all follow the national guidance and wear face coverings, wash hands frequently and practise social distancing.

“If anyone has any symptoms do not go to your local GP practice and instead check out www.nhs.uk which had lots of information and details on how to book a test or call NHS 111.”