Residents urged to keep up the good work as Swindon comes down watchlist

By Jamie Hill - 13 September 2020

Health

People in Swindon are being encouraged to keep following public health COVID-19 guidelines after the town on Friday (11 Sep) moved back down the Government’s national watchlist.

For the past two weeks, Swindon has been classed as an “area for enhanced support” by the Government after a spike in coronavirus cases last month.

However, with the Borough’s case rate continuing to fall, it has moved one place further down the watchlist and is, once again, described as “an area of concern”.

At the height of the recent spate of cases, Swindon’s infection case rate up to the 4 August was 46.8 per 100,000 of the population according to figures from Public Health England. The figures out today show that the case rate up to 6 September had fallen to 16.7 per 100,000 of the local population, below the national average of 19.7.

With the town remaining on the watchlist, Swindon will continue to have consistent access to testing. The regional coronavirus testing site at the former Wroughton Park and Ride site will remain in place and the Mobile Testing Unit (MTU), which has been based at the County Ground for the last few weeks, will move from tomorrow (12 Sep) to Swindon Borough Council’s Civic Campus in Euclid Street. The entrance to the new testing facility will be from Beckhampton Street.

Residents who experience a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change to their sense of smell or taste, must stay at home and book a test via the national online portal or by calling NHS 119.

The Council is continuing to undertake significant community engagement in targeted areas where there has been a greater incidence of COVID-19 cases and is reminding residents through its ‘Swindon: It’s up to all of us campaign’ of important public health guidance. This includes the need to wear face coverings in enclosed indoor spaces, to maintain social distancing at all times and for residents to continue to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.

Residents are also reminded that new rules come into force from Monday (14 Sep) where it will be against the law to meet people outside their households in a group larger than six - unless they are meeting as a household or support bubble. The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits and, if necessary, to impose fines.

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “I would like to thank all our residents for playing their part in helping us drive down our case rate here in Swindon.

“We can only control the spread of this deadly virus if we all keep our guard up and continue to follow the guidance to the letter. It is really good news that our case rate is moving in the right direction as it has meant we have not had to introduce local restrictions like some towns and cities in the north of England.

“But we want to keep it that way and just because we have fallen back down the watchlist, does not mean we can be complacent because COVID-19 is not going away any time soon.

“If you have any of the three key symptoms, stay at home and book a test. If you can’t get a test booked in Swindon, keep trying the national portal because new slots are added all the time.”

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