Residents across Staffordshire – including Tamworth – are being warned that the county could soon be placed on the Government’s High Alert level, amid an urgent need to curb the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
All boroughs and districts in Staffordshire are now seeing their numbers rise fast. In Tamworth, the current seven day rate is 189.1 per 100,000 people, with 145 new positive cases recorded in the seven days between October 17th and October 23rd.
Every effort is being made to remain in the current Medium Alert tier – and if the county does move to High Alert, the priority will be to get back to Medium as quickly as possible.
To that end, letters have been sent to Tamworth’s 35,000 homes asking residents to redouble their efforts to strictly follow the national guidance – and to go even further if possible.
Moving to High Alert would make it illegal for households to meet socially indoors in any public or private setting, apart from support bubbles as defined under the national guidance. This would have a significant impact on the town’s residents and businesses, especially in the hospitality trade.
Any additional measures we can take now will help to bring the infection rate down faster. Tamworth residents are therefore being asked to avoid – or at least limit – mixing with people from other households indoors now. This is known to be a significant cause of infections, so the more we can reduce it now, the better.
Those who are over 65, have underlying medical conditions, or who were previously identified as ‘shielding’ are also being asked to take extra care when going out, with the most vulnerable being advised to stay at home as much as possible.
Cllr Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Borough Council’s lead Covid councillor, said: “We know Tamworth residents have made huge sacrifices during the pandemic and we would like to thank you for everything you are doing to try and control the virus. These sacrifices directly help save the lives of the most vulnerable and elderly in our community.
“However, cases in Tamworth are rising rapidly and we are asking everyone to please redouble their efforts, by strictly following the national guidance – and going even further if possible – to get this virus under control.
“Limiting how many households we mix with would be a really effective way to do that. I appreciate this could become law very soon if we move to High Alert and people will want to make the most of seeing their friends and family in the meantime, but if we each do a bit more now then maybe we can avoid that happening – or get back to Medium sooner if it does.
“It could be a case of reducing the number of households you mix with to one or two, rather than meeting with several different groups of six in the space of a week, for example.
“We know this advice means additional sacrifices when you have already sacrificed so much, but we hope that if we all work together to make some changes now, it will save more lives and livelihoods, and minimise the longer term impact as much as possible.”
Jonny McMahon, Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing on Staffordshire County Council, added: “We are doing everything we can to tackle the rising numbers. Nobody wants to see further restrictions on families and friends getting together or potentially businesses closing if the situation continues to escalate. We must act now and that means following the rules like never before.”
Regular updates are posted on the Tamworth Borough Council website at www.tamworth.gov.uk and on the council’s Facebook and Twitter social media accounts.