'Take it seriously' warning as coronavirus cases spike in Smethwick
Black Country residents have been reminded to stay socially distant and wash their hands after a spike in cases in Smethwick.
Sandwell Council has issued two alerts in four days after 35 cases were reported in Smethwick in just over a week.
The local authority said yesterday that out of 20 new cases identified in Sandwell, 11 were confirmed in Smethwick.
This means the town has now had 35 new cases in just over a week - 10 times more than the rate of previous weeks.
The council first issued an urgent warning on Thursday after a sharp spike in cases and then confirmed on Friday that a third of workers at a factory in West Bromwich had been "affected" by Covid-19.
Director of Public Health Dr Lisa McNally urged residents to take the increase in cases "very seriously".
She said: “The risk of infection in Sandwell, and especially Smethwick, is clearly increasing rapidly.
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“Smethwick has now seen 35 cases in just over a week – that is more than 10 times the rate we were seeing only a few weeks ago and people really do need to take this very seriously.
“I would urge everyone to redouble their efforts to follow safety guidance, do not think the virus has gone – it most certainly has not.
"Talk to family, friends and colleagues and make sure they understand how critical this is.”
So far 1,720 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Sandwell since the pandemic began, according to the latest Government figures.
The rate of infection across the borough is 525.4 cases per 100,000 people, lower than Wolverhampton and Walsall but higher than Dudley and Birmingham.
The localised rate in Smethwick is likely to be higher but the data is only available by local authority.
In comparison, the rate of infection in Leicester is 1,289.1 per 100,000 people.
Dr McNally said it is vitally important that people stringently follow Covid-19 advice.
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