Posted on Friday 9th October 2020
People are being called on to stick strictly to the Covid-19 rules in a bid to contain rising cases in Newcastle.
The number of cases is rising rapidly with nearly 300 cases confirmed in the last fortnight. This includes an outbreak involving more than 50 students and two staff from Keele University, the vast majority living off campus.
This week, Staffordshire County Council set up extra testing at private student accommodation blocks in Newcastle for people without symptoms, to help identify other cases who should be self-isolating and stop the spread of infection.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care, said:
“Newcastle has the highest rate of infection in the county now and cases are continuing to rise.
“If we don’t act now, there is an increased risk to the health of vulnerable people and a risk that the Government will step in and impose further restrictions on people’s lives and livelihoods.
“Everyone has a role to play in protecting themselves, vulnerable people and the wider community. We are asking everyone to help us stop the spread of infection by sticking to the rules at all times. This is particularly important for students who are at high risk of catching and passing on the virus.”
The rules include:
- No meeting up socially in groups of more than six
- Wearing a face covering where needed
- Leaving your contact details in pubs and venues
- Booking a test if you have symptoms on www.nhs.uk/coronavirus Tests can be taken at the walk-in centre on campus or at the Ryecroft Car Park in Newcastle.
- Self-isolating for 10 days if you test positive and letting the test and trace service know who you have been in close contact with. They will also need to self-isolate for 14 days.
At Keele University they have taken proactive steps to make the campus as Covid secure as possible and to encourage all students to follow the rules.
Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, said:
“The health, welfare and safety of students, staff, and the wider community is the number one priority for the University, and across our campus and accommodation we have put in place safety measures in line with government advice, and regularly advise students on public health guidelines to protect themselves and others.
“We are here to help our students and are also offering practical support to those self-isolating. We are proud of how our students are coping during these challenging times, and we will continue to work with the county and borough councils, and Public Health England, to do whatever we can to help stop the spread of infection.”