Increased testing for South Yorkshire
This week I need to tell you that the number of people becoming infected with Coronavirus in Rotherham and across South Yorkshire is still too high and is not reducing as quickly as in other parts of the country. Because of this we are changing our testing strategy to include tests for people with no symptoms of Coronavirus (asymptomatic testing).
We are working with Public Health England (PHE) to increase access to test sites to make it easier for people in Rotherham to get tested. We have a new 7-day drive-thru testing site at the old bus depot on Midland Road, and a Mobile Testing Unit will be available at Herringthorpe Playing Fields until Friday 17 July.
These additional measures are being put in place to try to bring down the rate of infections in the borough as quickly as possible. This extra effort will help us to identify more people with Coronavirus, including those who may not be showing symptoms.
More testing will inevitably mean more positive cases being found but this gives us a better chance of getting on top of the spread of the virus.
This extra testing is in addition to the existing guidelines which are there to keep us all safe and which we should continue to follow. As a reminder, these are:
- Keep two metres apart from people outside of your household whenever possible. In cases where this isn’t possible, such as hair salons and barbers, face coverings or other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be in place.
- Wash your hands regularly, especially if you are going to shops, pubs, and restaurants.
- If you do have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a new continuous cough, fever and/or a change to or loss of taste and smell, then you must self-isolate and get tested as soon as possible. You can visit www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or call 119 to book a test.
Just like other local councils, Rotherham is required to publish a Local Outbreak Control Plan (LOCP) and set up a Local Outbreak Control Board.
- Spot trends early and identify clusters of cases quickly so that working with partners and the community we can intervene early to prevent further spread
- Support communities to continue to follow guidance so that the number of cases of COVID-19 circulating in our community reduce.
- Help reduce public anxiety and increase business confidence by demonstrating that there are arrangements in place to reduce the spread of the virus and control outbreaks in the communities across Rotherham
- Gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- For the latest local information on testing please visit www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus