EVERY single person who lives, works or visits Tameside are being urged to step up their actions to tackle the spread of COVID following a sharp rise in the number of positive cases.
The borough’s positive testing rate has increased to 72 per 100,000 as of last Sunday, mirroring a wider increasing trend across Greater Manchester. Local officials have warned the borough may follow in Bolton’s footsteps where the hospitality sector – including pubs – has been closed down again to help bring the virus under control if the rate continues to sharply increase.
Changes could include food and drink businesses opening only for takeaways, limited opening times, and a restriction on meeting outdoors.
Most of the cases are through household transmission so it is vital people do not mix with anyone outside of their own household/support bubble indoors or in private gardens. They must also keep to the new national restriction not to gather in groups of more than six as of Monday 14 September.
Exemptions to this include; If your household/support bubble totals more than six, workplace and educational settings, organised events such as weddings and funerals and team sports.
They are also being urged to increase vigilance in washing hands, wearing a face covering and keeping social distance.
Tameside Council is working closely with Greater Manchester Police to raise awareness of the actions everyone should take as well as supporting businesses to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place. The focus will be engaging people to comply with the restrictions but enforcement action will be taken where necessary.
Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “The steep increase in the number of cases is extremely concerning and it is going to take action and compliance from each and every one of us in Tameside to curb this. COVID is affecting all our communities in Tameside – it is pointless trying to point the finger at one particular area of concern as none of us can take our eye of the ball, it is up to everyone, everywhere to play their part.
“I’ve been really proud of how the Tameside community has faced the challenges of COVID thus far but this isn’t over. We need to step up our efforts even more to stop the spread of the virus and avoid the need of further restrictions being imposed. Tameside is a community that cares about others and I am asking everyone now to be selfless and do their bit – if for no other reason than to protect our more vulnerable family members and friends from getting very poorly with this virus.
“This virus can spread very quickly, it only takes one person not sticking to the rules when they are infected with the virus – knowingly or not – and within a week they will have infected 3 people, after 6 weeks this will result in at least 1,000 people being infected. Whilst the majority may not even have any symptoms of illness, one of these people could be someone you love who gets very ill and dies. And so I am imploring everyone to protect themselves and others.”
Supt Jane Higham of GMP’s Tameside district said: “Our officers are working with the council to engage the community and businesses in the safety restrictions and measures and we will be taking enforcement action where there are clear breaches.
“We want to get to a more normal way of life as soon as possible and the only way we can achieve this is to step up to the challenge we’re faced with, work together and all do our bit now to stop the spread of the virus.
“This is a difficult time for everyone and has required huge behavioural change due to the restrictions; however please remember that by following these regulations you will not only be protecting yourself, but also others who may be more vulnerable.”
For further information on the restrictions and the steps everyone can take see www.tameside.gov.uk/itworks