Notification Settings

Subscribe to one or all notification sources from this one place.


Subscribe to our newsletter to get the day's top stories sent directly to you.

Revellers are reminded of Covid and monkeypox threats ahead of Walsall Pride

People attending Walsall Pride this August Bank Holiday are being encouraged to stay happy, healthy and safe while enjoying the celebrations.

A previous Walsall Pride event
A previous Walsall Pride event

Celebrating its 10th anniversary - which was delayed due to the covid pandemic - on Saturday, Walsall Pride will celebrate diverse communities in and around Walsall at Walsall Arboretum.

Walsall Council has published advice to everyone who is attending Pride on how to take care of themselves and others.

Anyone who feels unwell is asked to stay at home and avoid passing on illness to others.

With the weather looking like it is going to be hot, people are urged to stay hydrated by drinking water, especially if drinking alcohol.

They are advised to try to keep cool when the sun is hot, which is usually between the hours of 11am and 3pm. Find shade, use sun cream and look out for signs of sunburn or heat exhaustion.

To stop the spread of illnesses such as Covid-19, people are also asked to keep washing their hands or use hand sanitiser.

They are also encouraging people engaging in sex to use protection such as condoms.

Stephen Gunther, director of public health for Walsall, said: “We want everyone to have fun at Walsall Pride. It is the first time it has been held in person for several years due to the pandemic.

“Illnesses like Covid-19 and monkeypox are still circulating, so it is important that people are aware of the signs and symptoms.

“The figures for monkeypox have been steadily rising in the West Midlands region, now standing at 104 confirmed and highly probable cases as of August 23, 2022.

“While anyone can catch monkeypox, the majority of monkeypox cases in the UK continue to be in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM), with the virus being passed on mainly through close contact between people in interconnected sexual networks.

“You are extremely unlikely to have monkeypox if you have not been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox or has monkeypox symptoms. However, it is important to check yourself regularly.

“Covid-19 is still around and causing illness. No one wants to miss out, but if you feel unwell, have a temperature or flu or Covid-like symptoms, try to stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people until you feel better to resume normal activities.”

Staff from Walsall Integrated Sexual Health (WiSH) will be at Pride again this year to highlight the support available for people of all ages in the borough.

They will be handing out free condoms, promoting online sexual health testing kits, offering some chlamydia and gonorrhoea screening, and sharing information about monkeypox.

Tanya Grainger, senior sister in sexual health, said: “Walsall Pride is a fantastic event which provides a supportive, inclusive space for the LGBTQI+ community and we’re looking forward to joining the party at Walsall Arboretum on Saturday!

“It’s an opportunity to promote the services we offer and we know that with monkeypox very much in the news at the moment, some visitors may want to find out more.

“We can remind people about the symptoms which are recent unexpected/unusual spots, ulcers, or blisters anywhere on the body, fever, headaches, muscle aches, chills and exhaustion and swollen glands. Symptoms can take up to three weeks to appear after being in contact with someone who has the infection.

“Monkeypox can be spread through close physical contact such as skin to skin, kissing, sex or sharing bedding and towels. Anyone with these symptoms should avoid events and close physical contact and call NHS 111 or their sexual health clinic for advice.

“But visitors can ask us absolutely anything related to sexual health on Saturday and we’ll give them all the advice they need to stay safe and well.”

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News