THERE are tentative signs that Tameside’s hard work in complying with additional Greater Manchester covid-19 restrictions is starting to pay off – but it’s much too soon to talk of lifting the restrictions.
In the last two weeks the rate of positive tests per 100,000 in Tameside has dropped from 37.1 to 28.3. However, while the new rate is encouraging, it remains above the threshold for a government amber alert and needs to fall much further in order to safely lift the restrictions.
Social distancing street markings are in place across TamesideTo make sure the success over recent weeks continues, Tameside Council is stepping up its presence in the community, with officers visiting hotspot and busy areas to explain what people should be doing to protect themselves and stop the spread. This is in addition to officers working with the police to visit premises and check they are complying with restrictions.
Up to 23 August, council officers had visited 279 licensed premises and 606 other businesses (885 total) – some following complaints raised by the public – and encountered issues in only 25 cases (just less than 3 per cent).
The council is calling on people to make sure they don’t relax their efforts at this vital time. They want residents and businesses to set a positive example to friends, families, neighbours and customers by continuing to adhere to the Greater Manchester restrictions designed to contain the virus.
These include not mixing with people from other households in their homes, gardens or indoor public settings, and not arranging or attending any gatherings of more than 30.
Residents can also promote the simple steps that protect themselves and others such as washing hands, social distancing and wearing a face covering.
Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus must self-isolate and get a test immediately. To book one visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.
Tameside Council’s executive leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, said: “Despite reductions in recent days, the number of people in Tameside testing positive for covid-19 remains too high. I am really proud of the commitment our communities and businesses have shown to limit the spread of the virus. The Tameside spirit is clearly evident, and for this I thank our residents.
“We have reached a critical point in our journey, and with schools poised to reopen we must all play our part in ensuring that recent reductions are sustained and rates do not start to go in the wrong direction.
“Now, more than ever, we must continue to follow additional protective measures. Regular handwashing with soap and water is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus along with catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue and binning it.
“It remains vital that we all continue to socially distance ourselves outside our homes, wear a face covering when in enclosed indoor spaces and self-isolate and get tested if we have any symptoms.
“Continuing to stick with these protective measures as well as restrictions around mixing with other households will ensure that we reduce the risk of a local lockdown which would be catastrophic for our communities and businesses.
“We will review this position in two weeks’ time based on advice being provided by the borough’s director of public health on both the levels and trends of infection and the effectiveness of the measures we have in place to contain the virus.
“I remain hopeful that if we continue to see sustained reductions we will see the lifting of temporary additional restrictions and the removal of the borough from the national watchlist.”