Infection rates slow following Sandwell’s safety push

Published 7th August 2020

Sandwell Council has today reviewed coronavirus safety advice to residents, following a 30% fall in cases over the past week.

Deputy Council Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “As we all know the current situation in relation to the outbreak is changing, sometimes on a daily basis, which means we are now in a position to review our advice to local people based upon local evidence and government advice.

“In the current situation we would now advise that those who are shielding in Sandwell do not need to continue to do so – but we strongly urge people to continue to follow all the government advice.

“Generally, people who have been shielding should remember they are extremely clinically vulnerable in relation to coronavirus and if infected are at higher risk of very serious illness.  So, social distancing, hand washing and other general precautions are vital.

“I would like to thank people for responding so well to all the advice from our public health team, who have been out and about talking to people across the borough and giving advice on how to halt the surge.

“We’ve done a lot of work, with intensive community engagement in the Smethwick area and we are starting to see that pay off, with the week on week infection rates coming down significantly.

“However, these things change quickly and we have to stay incredibly vigilant - the situation in Sandwell, as across the country, remains extremely serious and we all need to do everything we can to avoid the need for further local restrictions over the coming weeks.”

Advice on care home visits remains that they should remain closed to visits except for window visits and special arrangements for end of life visits. 

The current level of infection in care homes is not at a level at which the advice on visits can change.

Care home residents are some of the most vulnerable in the community and care home outbreaks present a significant risk of severe illness and death. 

A significant number of infections across households also still remain and the advice remains that people do not have visitors to their home except for those within their ‘social bubble’ and essential visits by those providing care and support. 

This advice will be reviewed again in one week.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from the 1 August – this means that:

  • You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe. You should work from home where you can; 
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing; 
  • You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing; and 
  • You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing.

Sandwell Council will continue to offer help to anyone who still needs support at this time, visit our emergency help webpage or call 0121 569 2266.