Posted on Friday 18th June 2021
Residents in Newcastle are being urged to be extra vigilant, get tested, and get vaccinated when eligible, after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the area.
Rates of coronavirus in the area have risen to 91 per 100,000 population, the current highest rate across Staffordshire. Most of the cases are being seen in the 11-34 age bracket.
Public health officials are now looking to implement PCR testing in some schools in the area, as well as working with local businesses to encourage them to test their workforce. The wearing of face coverings will also be reintroduced into secondary schools.
People are also being encouraged to continue to get regular, twice-weekly lateral flow tests, which can be collected at local testing centres, pharmacies, libraries or national testing sites. Testing rates in Newcastle are currently the lowest in the county.
A pop-up testing site will be in Newcastle Town Centre on Sunday 20 June, with walk-ins available. More information about testing can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/testing.
Dr Johnny McMahon, Cabinet Support Member for Health and Integrated Care at Staffordshire County Council said:
“The rise in cases in Newcastle is concerning. We’ve seen in Leek how cases can rise quickly, so it is important we do everything we can to stop it in its tracks and drive down cases in the area.
“This means sticking to the rules around hands, face space and fresh air, and getting tested regularly. Regular testing means we can discover more cases, isolate these, trace any close contacts and ultimately stop any further spread. This is why it is so important for people to get tested.”
Dr Richard Harling, Director for Public Health at Staffordshire County Council said:
“We’re looking to put on more testing in the Newcastle area, as we know from our experience in Leek that this is the best way to find and isolate cases, and stop any rise in cases. Working with schools, we’re hoping to target the age groups that are seeing the sharpest rise in cases and get a complete picture of where Covid-19 is spreading it the area.
“We would also urge everyone who is 18 or over to book their Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible. This combination of testing and driving up vaccination rates in the area will help stop the spread and stem the rise in cases.”
The Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Simon Tagg, said:
“The rapid rise in case numbers in the borough and beyond is very concerning. I would urge everyone to get a Covid-19 test twice a week, if they can, and also to get the vaccine as soon as you are eligible.
“Tests can be booked very easily using the county council’s webpage or, if people prefer, lateral flow test kits can be collected from the community testing sites to test at home. It’s easy, it’s convenient and we really need everyone to do their bit. Follow the guidance, get tested regularly and make sure you get your vaccination.”