TAMESIDE residents are being urged to stay ‘covid cautious’ especially as rates in the borough are now the highest they have ever been.
Rates in Tameside this week were at 678 per 100,000 of the population, which equates to approximately 1500 new cases in the last seven days.
Cases, hospital admissions and, sadly, deaths are expected to further increase now that national restrictions have been lifted. As well as disrupting people’s lives, this is also putting strain on health and other public services.
Tameside Council is keen to support businesses in welcoming people back to town centres and support residents in returning to the things they love. But it is calling for a cautious approach and highlighting some key things people can continue to do to protect themselves and others and help keep local services running:
- Keep washing your hands
- Take a symptom-free COVID-19 lateral flow test twice a week
- Take the vaccine when you are offered it and make sure you get both doses.
- Remember that some people are more vulnerable than others – be considerate
- There is still a benefit to wearing face coverings
- Where possible meet friends and loved ones outdoors.
- Try to open the windows to let in fresh air
- Continue to work from home if you can
Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “The pandemic has been hard for everyone. We all want to be able to return to seeing loved ones and doing the things we enjoy – having BBQs with friends, going to the pub or a restaurant, going to the theatre and feeling a sense of normality. But, as our climbing rates show, covid has not gone away, you or your family and friends could become severely unwell or pass on the virus to someone without knowing.
“So the freedom gifted to us from lifted restrictions comes with serious responsibility. We anticipate that a rise in hospitalisations and deaths will follow this latest increase in cases. This will be far lower than seen in previous waves – thanks to the success of the vaccines currently in use which are weakening the link between infection and severe illness and death. However vaccines do not completely break the chain – they are not 100% effective for everyone, and so we all have a duty to do what we can to protect one another.
“Health and public services are coming under increasing strain from the sheer number of infections and people isolating. This is likely to get worse as we move into the winter season and the usual pressures that brings even without covid. We must all keep doing our part to make sure we keep driving down infections.
“It’s especially important to get both doses of your vaccination. We’re especially keen to encourage 18-30 year olds to get vaccinated, and remind them this will help them stay well enough to get to all the events, activities and holidays they are planning this summer while also reducing their chances of getting long covid, which is a very real risk.
“Thank you to everyone for your continued support in doing everything you can to protect yourselves and eachother and supporting your local community as we all take our next steps forward in managing this pandemic.”
For more information on testing and vaccinations see www.tameside.gov.uk/coronavirus