Four cases of Indian covid variant confirmed in High Peak and Derbyshire Dales
Residents living or working in one area of the High Peak as well as the Derbyshire Dales are being urged to be cautious after four cases of the new Indian covid variant were confirmed.
Three cases of the Indian strain of the virus, which is classed as a ‘variant of concern’, were confirmed in the Glossop area with a further case found in the Derbyshire Dales.
With the new strain spreading more easily, Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace has now called on residents in those areas to get tested, whether they have symptoms or not, and reminded locals to follow the Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air rules.
The warning comes after one case of the Indian variant and one of the South African strain were confirmed in the community of Long Eaton in Erewash, taking the total number of cases of variants of concern in Derbyshire to six.
Mr Wallace said: “We understand that people will be concerned that three cases of the Indian variant have been confirmed in the Glossop area and one in the Derbyshire Dales, but I’d like to reassure everyone that we’re working closely with Public Health England to minimise the spread.
“There is currently no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness, are more deadly or make the current vaccines any less effective, but they do spread more easily – which is why we need everyone to be extra vigilant.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of getting a test if you have symptoms, including a wider range of symptoms which some people have been experiencing, as well as regular twice-weekly testing if you have no symptoms.
“We know one in three people who are carrying coronavirus don’t feel ill, so just because you feel ok doesn’t mean you haven’t got it – and you could be spreading it to your friends, family and work mates.
“It’s also vitally important that we continue to wear face masks where required unless you are exempt, to keep on washing your hands regularly and keep two metres away from anyone not in your household.
“I know people will be pleased to have regained more freedom following the relaxation of some rules this week, but I would ask everyone in Glossop area, Derbyshire Dales and throughout Derbyshire to take a sensible approach at this time and think carefully about the risks to their loved ones before making any decisions about mixing indoors.
“It’s true that opening windows and doors helps to disperse Covid particles in the air but it’s far safer to stay outside in the open air where the risk of catching the virus is much lower.”
The main coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. But some people in the Long Eaton area who tested positive for the virus reported experiencing other symptoms including tummy ache, sore throat, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, feeling or being sick, headaches, joint pain, runny nose, sneezing, feeling drowsy, tiredness, muscle aches or generally feeling poorly.
People in the Derbyshire Dales and Glossop area are being advised to look out for these symptoms as they may be a sign that they have got coronavirus.
There is no need for people to self-isolate unless they have a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste. But anyone who does have any of the additional symptoms is advised to get a PCR test – tests that are sent to a laboratory – as a precaution. These tests are by appointment only and can be booked online at gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling NHS 119.
Anyone who has got a positive result from a lateral flow test should self-isolate immediately but may leave the house to take a confirmatory PCR test.
Tests are also available for people without any symptoms at the mobile community testing centre in Gamesley where the number of coronavirus cases is high. The centre at Gamesley Community centre, Melandra Castle Road, SK13 6UQ, is open from 10am to 4pm daily and will be available until at least Friday May 21 2021. There’s no need to book these sessions, you can just turn up.
Alternatively you can carry out tests at home if you have no symptoms. Kits are available from testing centres and some pharmacies. For more details of how to get hold of home testing kits, as well as information about support you may be entitled to if you test positive and have to self-isolate, visit derbyshire.gov.uk/communitytesting.
Mr Wallace added: “We’ve come so far in our fight against this pandemic and the vaccine has been a real turning point, but this outbreak is a timely reminder that Covid hasn’t gone away and we still need to take precautions to protect those we love from this illness – especially those not yet vaccinated.
“Thanks to everyone continuing to follow the guidance and get tested regularly to help stop the spread. I’d urge everyone throughout Derbyshire to keep going and use your judgement to keep everyone safe.”