An urgent call to ‘up their game’ has been made to people in the Somer Valley in response to a worrying increase in Covid-19 cases in the area.
It comes from Dr Bruce Laurence who is Director of Public Health for Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Following an increase in confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Somer Valley area, Public Health England, Bath & North East Somerset Council and Somerset County Council are working together to manage the situation.
The Somer Valley area falls mainly in Bath and North East Somerset but also crosses the border into Somerset.
Bath & North East Somerset Council and Somerset County Council are working closely with PHE and other partners to manage the increase in the Midsomer Norton, Radstock and surrounding areas. As a precautionary action this includes supporting licensed premises to ensure that guidelines are followed on social distancing, test and trace and all other preventative measures.
People are being reassured that although the number of confirmed cases has gone up, there is no cause for serious concern or for any significant action to be taken.
However, it is of the utmost importance that to prevent the virus spreading further in the Somer Valley and beyond, everyone must continue to observe social distancing, wash their hands thoroughly and regularly and wear face coverings when appropriate.
People returning to the UK from countries on the UK quarantine list should self-isolate for 14 days.
Anyone who thinks they have coronavirus symptoms should book a test via the Government portal or call 119. There is currently a temporary mobile testing unit (MTU) in Paulton until August 27.
Dr Bruce Laurence said: “We are definitely concerned at this rise in cases. It is not yet at a level where we have to consider a local lockdown, but it is absolutely essential that we start to get a grip on the situation right now. This depends on all of us doing the right things and doing them properly. This means paying close attention to all the rules of social distancing, hygiene, wearing facemasks, and self-isolating and getting a test as soon as any symptoms start. It also means isolating for a full 14 days if you are identified as a contact of a case or have returned from a high-risk area abroad.
“We have all seen how quickly this virus can get out of hand in several cities and towns in England already, and maybe we have thought it couldn’t happen here, because it has not done so yet. But now is the time to act. If we sit by complacently while case numbers rise next week and for a few weeks more we can soon find ourselves in really dangerous territory where we would have to consider going back to the restrictions and privations of the lockdown period. Everything depends on everyone…and that includes you and me.
“Along with asking for your support we are taking all the precautionary steps needed to tackle this situation. With our partners we are ensuring that we reach all possible contacts, and we are talking to businesses in the area to support them in managing the risks of Covid-19 as effectively as they can so that they can remain open while keeping customers safe.”
If you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested at nhs.uk or call 119. Follow this link for more details of how to book and for the details of the Paulton MTU https://newsroom.bathnes.gov.uk/news/extended-timescale-temporary-coronavirus-mobile-testing-unit-paulton
If you visit pubs, cafes and restaurants you must complete the test and trace form. For businesses, if you have a member of staff who tells you they have coronavirus symptoms, please ensure the person stays at home, self-isolates and books a test. If you have two or more possible cases and are concerned and want advice, please contact PHE’s Health Protection Team on 0300 303 8162.
If a business in B&NES has one or more confirmed cases, please inform firstname.lastname@example.org who can offer advice and support.
If a business has two or more confirmed cases, you need to report these to PHE’s Health Protection Team on 0300 303 8162, who will work with you to assess the risks and advise you on actions to take. Help Test and Trace do its work by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days.
All the latest NHS information on coronavirus can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/