Enhanced Covid testing being rolled out in part of High Peak this week over concerning rise in cases
Enhanced Covid testing is being rolled out in an area of High Peak as part of a co-ordinated response to rising infection rates.
Derbyshire County Council is working with NHS Test and Trace, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, High Peak Borough Council and NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group in an effort to slow the transmission rate in Gamesley.
Every household in the ward will get free PCR tests delivered to their door on Thursday or Friday, June 3-4, and people over the age of five at each address will be encouraged to take a test which will then be collected.
On Saturday, June 5, a vaccination bus will be at Winster Mews car park, off Melandra Castle Road, and anyone who is eligible and has yet to have their first dose of the vaccine can go along between 9.45am and 3pm, with no appointment necessary. If residents prefer to book a time slot they can visit www.tamesideandglossop.nhsvaccinations.co.uk or they can ring their GP.
Councillor Anthony Mckeown, the leader of High Peak Borough Council who lives in Gamesley, said: “Local people might be concerned about the increase in the infection rate, but there are things we can all do to keep it under control.
“That’s why we’re working together with our partners to offer easy access testing and vaccination services to the local community. I urge everyone to take the test and, if you’re eligible, go along to the walk-in clinic on Saturday and get your first vaccination.”
He added: “Our actions do count, and it’s as important as ever that we do what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”
Positive tests in the Gamesley and Glossop area trebled between the final two weeks of April and the same time in May, from 22 to 63 people – of which 42 were either confirmed or suspected to be variants of concern.
Derbyshire’s director of public health Dean Wallace said: “Despite all our best efforts cases of Covid-19 continue to rise in Gamesley, including the variant first discovered in India. This significant outbreak reminds us that we cannot afford to let our guard down as we ease out of restrictions.
“While there’s no evidence that this strain causes a more serious illness and the vaccines remain highly effective in protecting us against it, it does spread more easily – which is why we need everyone to be on their guard.
He added: “There’s a real chance to stop the virus from spreading but we need the community to pull together and do the right thing and I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a test.
“We’re asking everyone aged five and over who lives on the Gamesley estate to do a PCR test to help keep themselves, their family and their community safe.”
Residents are being asked to take the test whether they have symptoms or not, as one in three people can carry the virus without showing any symptoms and could be passing it on without knowing.
Anyone without symptoms does not need to self-isolate while they wait for test results and can still go to work if they cannot work from home.
The PCR test is the most reliable test for Covid-19 and is done by taking a swab of the throat and nose. Children under 11 should be helped by an adult. Results are usually returned within one to two days and help to keep track of cases, including new variants.
Residents who need it will be offered advice and support to carry out the tests themselves and once completed they will place them in a secure container outside their property which will be collected later. For the latest information visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/gamesleyarea.
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service group manager Dean Gazzard said: “We have around 25 fire service personnel and various fire service vehicles supporting local resilience forum partners setting up and facilitating the central hub for surge testing in the Gamesley area.
“While we have been supporting the community response to Covid19 since February 2020, everyone has their own part to play in helping to prevent the spread of the virus, so I would like to encourage everyone living in the area to use the PCR tests that will be delivered and collected from them, to help protect their family, friends and the community.”
People should not attend the vaccination clinic if they have Covid-19 symptoms or have recently tested positive. Anyone displaying a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or change to their sense of taste or smell, must self-isolate immediately for ten days.
If residents cannot attend the pop-up clinic, they can book locally using the details above or at a mass vaccination centre online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination or by calling NHS 119.
If a resident or their child has to self-isolate and they are on a low income they could be eligible for a one-off payment of £500. They can also get support with things like shopping and picking up prescriptions.
For more information visit: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/selfisolationsupport.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, added: “We are urging people to be very cautious and follow the guidance on hygiene, face coverings, social distancing and meeting outdoors.
“Getting both vaccine doses gives a high degree of protection against this variant and we urge everyone to have the vaccine when the NHS invites you.”
She added: “Please follow the public health advice and make sure that you remain careful, work from home if you can, meet people outside where possible and remember ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times. This is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this variant.”