Stop the spread: please report new COVID-19 cases

Stay alert symbolSandwell Council is alerting people across the borough, particularly in Smethwick, to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. It is calling on the business community to help stop the spread by reporting new cases in the workplace.

Please contact PHCovid19_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk immediately (on top of any existing reporting requirements you may have) if you have two or more positive cases of COVID-19.

Rising cases

Data sent to the council on Sunday evening (19 July) showed another 20 positive cases across Sandwell – eleven of them in Smethwick.

Director of Public Health Dr Lisa McNally said: “The risk of infection in Sandwell, and especially Smethwick, is clearly increasing rapidly.

“Smethwick has now seen 35 cases in just over a week – that is more than 10 times the rate we were seeing only a few weeks ago and people really do need to take this very seriously.

“I would urge everyone to redouble their efforts to follow safety guidance, do not think the virus has gone – it most certainly has not.

“Talk to family, friends and colleagues and make sure they understand how critical this is.”

Dr McNally said it is vitally important that people stringently follow COVID-19 advice.

This includes:

* Stay home and self-isolate if you have a cough, high temperature or change in sense of taste or smell.
* Book a test via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or call 119.
* If you have symptoms people in your household should also self-isolate at home.
* Do whatever is possible to isolate symptomatic people in the household from non-symptomatic people
* Even if you do not have symptoms, people should stay home as much as possible, and certainly avoid any crowds.
* If you have to go out, maintain a distance of at least one metre (preferably two metres) from other people and wear a face covering.

Advice for businesses

Sandwell Council has been working with businesses across the borough to limit the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks on their workforce and the general population. Read more here.

These interventions are much more effective if they are implemented as soon as the outbreak occurs. The council is often informed of outbreaks via partners and through national surveillance but to speed up this process please tell the council directly so you can get support sooner.

Sandwell Council is asking all businesses in the borough to contact PHCovid19_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk immediately (on top of any existing reporting requirements you may have) if you have two or more positive cases of COVID-19.

Managers of shops, businesses, faith settings and any other place where people gather should stringently adhere to all COVID-19 prevention guidance. In Sandwell, managers of businesses or community settings can get advice on preventing COVID-19 by emailing PHCovid19_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk. We have also published a wealth of guidance here on Think Sandwell.

Please visit the NHS website for more information on COVID-19. Keep safe.

:-)