Sandwell local lockdown fears grow as Covid cases rise by 76 in just three days
New Covid cases in Sandwell have rocketed by 76 in just three days, with council bosses reporting a rapid rise in numbers in West Bromwich, Great Barr and Newton, as well as in Smethwick.
The increase raises the chances of the borough entering a local lockdown after being listed as an area of enhanced support by Public Health England.
Sandwell’s spiralling numbers came as the government passed emergency legislation making social gatherings of more than six people illegal.
In response to the government’s move, Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s Director of Public Health, said: “We have already been encouraging people to avoid social gatherings so yesterday’s announcement supports our existing advice.
“We need everyone in Sandwell to continue their efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 and take this really seriously.”
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Reminding residents Covid-19 can be fatal, she added: “If you experience Covid-19 symptoms no matter how mild they are, you must not leave your home and you must do everything you can to avoid passing it on to people in your household.
“Everyone needs to be vigilant and stop the spread of Covid-19.”
As from Monday people breaking the limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings face a fine of £100, which will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200
Council bosses say they are already working closely with the police and businesses looking closely at the details of the new rules to see how they can be followed in areas like parks and town centres.
Recently, Sandwell launched a #dontgothere campaign urging customers to spend their money with responsible businesses.
It has also issued advice to residents not to allow any visitors inside their homes except for essential visits such as carers and to avoid social gatherings.
It is also asking people to keep distance from others, wash their hands regularly and wear a face covering in shops, on public transport and other enclosed spaces.