Covid-19 infection rates remain high
PEOPLE in Hanham and Longwell Green are being urged to to continue to follow guidance as rates of coronavirus in the area remain high.
The latest figures show that although the number of cases locally is falling, it is still above the average for South Gloucestershire as a whole.
As the Voice went to print, the latest data from the Office of National Statistics showed a rate for Hanham of 423 cases per 100,000 residents and for Longwell Green and Oldland Common at 429, while the figure for South Glos was 376.
The ONS's Kingswood North East area saw cases rise by 78 in the week to January 17, with the rate per 100,000 at Kingswood 1001.8 - one of the highest in the country.
Other local districts saw a fall in rates per 100,000 during the same period and were around or below the average: Kingswood South, 372; Staple Hill South and Kingswood North West, 351; Cadbury Heath North and Bitton, 375 and Cadbury Heath South and North Common, 362.
Kingswood councillor Andrea Reid appealed to local people to take seriously the huge spike in infections during January.
“It’s so important we all do what we can to protect each other now. We all want normality back. Continually rising numbers will only delay it. Let’s work together to get these numbers down,” she said.
A rapid testing centre was due to open at Kingswood Leisure Centre on January 27. It will be open five days a week, (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) from 9am-5pm for pre-booked appointments only.
Slots can be booked now at https://beta.southglos.gov.uk/book-rapid-flow-test/
Rapid testing (also known as community testing) to find residents who have Covid-19 but are not displaying any symptoms is vital as those people can then isolate and prevent the virus from spreading. The test, which uses a sample of saliva to look for signs of Covid-19, returns results within an hour.
Anyone living or working in South Glos will be able to get access to the tests, with those in roles that bring them into contact with the community being prioritised. These include health and social care staff, early years and nursery workers, funeral directors, crematorium and cemetery staff, bus and taxi drivers and staff in essential shops.
Rapid testing is different from the tests already available to anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus. People with these symptoms – a new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should continue to self-isolate and book a Covid-19 test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.