New restrictions on households mixing as Covid cases rise

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New legal restrictions on households in Wolverhampton mixing with each other have been announced by the Government in a bid to tackle rising coronavirus cases in the city.COVID NEW RESTRICTIONS

They will come into force from Tuesday (22 September), though residents are urged to follow them from today.

The new restrictions mean:

  • You must not allow people you don't live with or who are not part of your bubble into your home or garden.
  • You must not visit people you do not live with or who are not part of your bubble, in Wolverhampton or elsewhere.
  • Only essential visits inside the home, such as by carers or for urgent repairs, will be allowed.

These restrictions will be law and people could be fined for breaking them.

The measures will not affect schools, public transport or workplaces, though people should still practice social distancing and wear a face covering where required. For more details of the new measures, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/restrictions.

Wolverhampton has become an area of national intervention – along with neighbouring Sandwell, Birmingham and Solihull where similar restrictions came into force on Tuesday – due to a sustained raise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Latest data shows that confirmed cases have risen fivefold in a fortnight. There were around 60 cases per 100,000 residents in the seven days to 12 September compared to 12.6 cases per 100,000 in the week to 29 August. Some 90% of cases are linked to household-to-household transmission.

Feeling unwell? Book a test.

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Family doctors across the Black Country and West Birmingham are urging people to look out for symptoms and use the test and trace service to help the NHS in its fight against COVID-19.

Anybody who is experiencing any symptoms of the virus should self-isolate straight away, then make an appointment to get a test by calling 119 or visiting gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

The symptoms to look out for are:
A new, continuous cough
A high temperature
A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Dr Anand Rischie, local GP and chair of Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re seeing increasing numbers of people asking for a COVID test, which is a fantastic sign that people are taking public health advice seriously and doing their part to control the virus. To help NHS testing be as efficient as possible, we’re asking people to only get tested if you’re having symptoms. If you think you’ve been in contact with somebody who has the virus you must self-isolate, but you don’t need to worry about getting a test unless you develop a cough, a fever or a change to your sense of taste or smell. We’d also remind GP patients that you can’t get a COVID test from your local doctor as the testing is only done at specific national sites. But don’t forget that your GP is still here for you if you have any other health worries during this time.”

Because of the numbers of people trying to book a test, it may not always be possible to access the national system on the first attempt. Dr Rischie’s advice for anyone this affects is to continue to self-isolate and try again later, as more testing capacity is being added all the time.

Everyone has a role to play in helping stop the spread of Covid-19, by observing the new “Hands, Face, Space” guidance:

* Wash your hands thoroughly and often

* Cover your face when out in public places

* Make space by staying two metres apart where possible.

Since 14 September the new “rule of six” means that no more than six people can meet up at one time, in any indoor or outdoor setting including private homes and gardens. Some areas, including Sandwell and West Birmingham, have different rules to help control local spread. For the most up to date information about the rules where you live, please visit your local council’s website.

Go further and restrict household contact in Covid-19 fight

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Council and health chiefs are urging Wulfrunians to limit all household-to-household contact as the city steps up the fight against Covid-19.COVID Stay in your household

They are calling on residents to voluntarily follow the measures which have been introduced in neighbouring Sandwell, Birmingham and Solihull today – where all household-to-household contact is now banned – as infection rates continue to rise across the region. Latest data shows there were 53.06 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton in the seven days to 11 September, compared to 28.21 in the seven days to 4 September. Nearly 90% of cases relate to transmission within the household or from one household to another.

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “We’ve seen a massive increase in Covid-19 infection rates in Wolverhampton over the last fortnight and we need everyone to redouble their efforts to stop the spread of the virus if we are to save lives and sustain our economic recovery. We are already having conversations with Government about our increasing infection rate and want to avoid having to reintroduce more restrictive lockdown measures if we can possibly help it. That’s why we’re asking residents to do everything they can to help, now. We know that the virus is primarily spreading within and between households, so we need people to stay in their household or family bubble wherever possible.

“If you must mix with other households, please do so safely by observing social distancing at all times and following the so-called ‘rule of six’ which was been introduced in England yesterday. Our advice focuses on household-to-household contact, as the evidence doesn't point to an increase in transmission in workplaces, schools or other settings at this stage.

Most vulnerable urged: Take extra care as infection rate rises

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Wolverhampton's most vulnerable residents are being urged to continue to take extra care as cases of Covid-19 increase locally and nationally.WE ALL NEED TO PLAY OUR PART

Latest figures show there were 43.12 cases per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton in the seven days to 8 September, up from 11.83 cases in the week to 1 September, with the rise in cases mainly driven by a spike in infections among young adults. Meanwhile, additional restrictions were announced in nearby Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull this afternoon, banning contact between households from Tuesday.

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "We all need to take extra care to protect ourselves, our friends and our family from Covid-19. The virus infects people young and old, but the risk of severe disease increases with age. All the evidence suggests that people who are over the age of 60 or have underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or cancer are at a much greater risk of getting seriously ill. If you are older or in a clinical risk group, or you live with someone who is, it is even more important that you make sure you are following the Hands, Face, Space guidance and wash your hands more often, wear a face covering where you need to and follow social distancing guidelines. The rise in cases in recent days shows how easily Covid-19 is transmitted within households and from one family to another. This is a worry for us all, especially as winter approaches, and that’s why I'm calling on everyone to do all they can to help stop the spread of coronavirus."

Cut household transmission to stem Covid-19 infections plea

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Families across Wolverhampton are being urged to help cut the household to household transmission of coronavirus by staying apart this weekend ahead of new Government rules being introduced on Monday. Health chiefs are asking residents not to hold parties or large-scale gatherings before the so-called 'rule of six' comes into force – as cases of Covid-19 increase in the city and elsewhere in the region.

From Monday, it will be illegal for people to meet in groups of more than six, indoors or outside, except where additional members of the group are members of the same household or bubble or in certain settings such as schools and workplaces. Social distancing must be observed at all times whenever people from different households or bubbles meet. This afternoon, restrictions were announced in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull preventing any contact between households from Tuesday onwards – and Wolverhampton’s proximity to these neighbouring areas means that unless people's behaviour changes quickly the city is likely to face further restrictions and greater lockdown measures of its own.

Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “Covid-19 infection rates are rising rapidly across Wolverhampton and the West Midlands, and the spread of the virus is mainly being driven by social gatherings in the home.New guidance is being introduced on Monday to limit gatherings to no more than six people in most situations, but we really need local residents to go further than this if we are to avoid the introduction of measures such as those that will be imposed upon residents in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull from next week.”

Parents and pupils urged: Help your school stay Covid-secure

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Parents and pupils are being urged to do all they can to help their school stay Covid-secure. PROTECT YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Schools across the city have reopened to all pupils for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March – with a raft of measures in place to ensure they are as safe as possible, including enhanced cleaning regimes, 'bubbles' and staggered start and finish times.

Pupils and parents can help out by adhering to the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ guidelines. Children must wash their hands more often and use hand sanitiser, and pupils and parents are asked to keep two metres away from anyone who is not a member of their household, or their household or school bubble. Parents and carers are also encouraged to consider wearing face coverings when they are dropping off and collecting their children.