Rise in covid cases prompts urgent call for residents to keep up testing - The Leamington Observer

Rise in covid cases prompts urgent call for residents to keep up testing

Leamington Editorial 23rd Mar, 2021   0

A RISE in cases of Covid-19 has prompted an urgent call for Warwickshire residents to get twice-weekly tests.

Over 390 cases were recorded in the county in the week of March 10 to 16 – taking the number to 68 cases per 100,000. According to Public Health England figures, cases in Rugby have risen to 85, in Warwick to 72, and in Stratford to 72. Only North Warwickshire has seen a decrease, with Nuneaton and Bedworth remaining the same.

Director of Public Health for Warwickshire Dr Shade Agboola has stressed the need for residents to have regular tests if the national roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions is to be achieved.

She said: “The last year has been incredibly tough for our communities and the roadmap of out lockdown has given us all some hope that we can work towards a more normal way of living. However, I need to be clear that we will not see the next steps that we all want to see if we don’t stop the spread of the virus and the only way that we are going to achieve this is if we get tested regularly. It really is that simple but that critical.

“Testing is available in a number of settings across Warwickshire including schools, businesses and care homes, but we still need anyone who is unable to access testing through their workplace to take advantage of the free testing service for those with and without symptoms of Covid-19.

“The significance that the role of regular testing plays in the easing out of lockdown cannot be underestimated at this point. With the Easter holidays just around the corner, we know that people will be mixing, so it’s essential that people get tested before meeting up with family and friends. That’s regardless of whether you have had one or both of your vaccinations, whether you are a key worker or have children at school, or if you work from home and only go shopping or meet up with friends in the park, anyone can carry the virus and anyone can catch it. So please play your part and get tested.”

Warwickshire has increased the availability of lateral flow testing with the recent introduction of mobile testing on business sites in North Warwickshire and Nuneaton. This is in addition to the six community tests sites located around the county.

Dr Shade Agboola added: “As well as testing, it is essential that residents continue to follow the key guidance of washing their hands regularly, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and keeping a social distance from those you do not live with. Good ventilation is also very important, so if you are looking after people in your bubble or you need to invite someone into your home to fix essential items, then as well as hands, face, space, it’s also important to keep your home or workplace well ventilated.”

Warwickshire County Council has overseen the testing of around 145,000 people living or working in the county. Of those, around 1,200 have been positive.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/hrsh5u6h to book a test, https://tinyurl.com/vxdvcb5s to order one, or https://tinyurl.com/y8562kuz for details of home-test kits from local collection points.

Residents experiencing symptoms including a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change to their sense of taste or smell should not visit test site. Instead they can book an NHS test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119.


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