COVID surge testing teams to visit Newton-le-Willows

Specialist Covid-19 community testing teams are to visit some residents in Newton-le-Willows on Thursday (January 13) to help try and help tackle high infection rates in the area.

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 1:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 1:34 pm
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council

Managed by St Helens Borough Council, the teams will be engaging with residents, providing free symptom free testing kits and encouraging residents to test themselves at home,

The teams will also be providing advice on isolation support, should any residents test positive and will also be able to provide information on booking the Covid-19 vaccination or booster jab.

Newton-le-Willows currently has one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the borough and has one of the highest confirmed numbers of new cases.

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Overall positive Covid-19 cases in St Helens have risen sharply in recent weeks, In the week leading up to January 9 the rate of infections was 2071 per 100,000, with 3740 positive Covid-19 cases confirmed

There are currently 297 people in St Helens and Knowsley Hospital with Covid-19.

The surge testing teams will be visiting the Common Road and Earle Street areas of Newton-le-Willows during the day between 10am and 4pm on Thursday, January 13 to engage with local people on testing and vaccination.

In addition to delivering free testing kits to residents on the day, the surge testing teams will also return later in the day to update with residents, look at any issues they have had with using the kits and provide additional guidance and support if anyone has tested positive.

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: “Infection rates in the borough have risen very sharply during the last few weeks so it is important we take action as soon as we can to limit the further spread of infections.

“This is especially vital with the speed with which the now dominant Omicron variant is now spreading throughout the the borough and the amount of positive cases now being identified with no symptoms being shown beforehand.

“The work of the surge testing teams in the borough in recent months has been a great success in encouraging more residents to test and reducing infection rates and we are hopeful that the efforts of the team will have a similar impact this time.

“We are confident that with the support of residents we can try and bring infection rates down and reduce the risks to our local communities.”

Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said: “it is clear the presence of the Omicron variant in the borough has allowed local infection rates to climb more quickly than at any other time in the pandemic so far, so it is vital that we all take action now and test ourselves as often as we can.

“Testing is simple to do but can make a big difference in helping to keep infection rates down and people out of hospital.

“We would also advise all residents to take the opportunity to get your booster or other Covid vaccinations as soon as possible. it is the best protection you can have against Omicron and other variants of the virus. You should also try to get the flu vaccination as well if you are eligible.”

Further details are available online by visiting the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

For more information on flu vaccination go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/You can find out more about how to get a symptom free test or where to get a PCR test if you have one of these symptoms – a high temperature, or a new, continuous cough, or a loss of sense of smell or taste – at www.sthelens.gov.uk/letsgettested To book a vaccine you can call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk for more information.

If you need to isolate and need advice or support contact St Helens Together on 01744 676767