Together we’re better update.
The current reality of COVID-19 is something that we still cannot escape. If you watched the recent briefing with PM Boris Johnson and Professor Chris Whitty, the consensus seemed to be that things are heading in the “wrong direction”.
With national pleas for social distancing and the new restrictions not having the impact that we would all hope, cases are continuing to rise. Particularly in some hotspots including our neighbours in Birmingham and the Black Country and the North West. The national warnings are clear. We need to act now if we’re to reduce the risk of a national lockdown. What’s important is that we can’t become complacent and need to emphasise the importance of Hands, Face, Space. It remains our best strategy to combat the virus.
A new COVID-19 testing facility was opened at Keele University last week. The walk-through testing site is open to students and members of the public with symptoms. It is based at the Science and Innovation Park and will be open from 8am to 8pm every day. You can find further details here.
A further national COVID-19 testing site has been opened at Burton Town Hall. This walk-though site will help more people with symptoms to get tested and must be booked via the Government’s national booking portal at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by phoning 119. This site will also be open from 8am to 8pm every day.
Staffordshire County Council has been working with the Government to offer more testing across Staffordshire and this is the fourth Local Testing Site to open its doors in the county, with the other two being in Cannock and Newcastle.
A warning to stick to the COVID-19 guidance was issued to people in South Staffordshire yesterday after a sharp rise in the district. Around 200 people have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of September and cases are continuing to rise. No additional restrictions are being advised at this stage but to bring the rate of cases down people are being urged to strictly follow the national rules and do what they can to help reduce the spread of infection.
The fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from COVID-19 is to download the NHS COVID-19 contract tracing app that was launched on 24 September. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones and your community. The more of us that use it the better we can control the virus. So, protect your loved ones and if you’ve not yet got the app you can download it here.
Talking of protecting your loved ones, and changing the subject from COVID-19, did you know that if you have a child in year’s 1-7 at school, they’ll qualify for a free flu vaccine this year? The vaccine is delivered in the form of a nasal spray. Look out for more information from your child’s school over the next few weeks or you can find out more on the NHS website.
Don’t forget, that if you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you. In an emergency please call 999 or go to your local A&E. If you’re worried you might have symptoms of cancer or any other concerns about your health please call you GP practice or NHS111. Please do not leave anything to chance, your NHS is still here for you.
Some news for the Burntwood area is that construction work on a new health centre is due to begin in November. The Greenwood House Medical Centre on Lichfield Road, Burntwood, will replace the Hudson Drive site of Darwin Medical Practice and provide 12 new consulting rooms, five treatment rooms, a healthcare/phlebotomy room, and a health education space in a single-story building. The plans also include
accommodation for an adjoining pharmacy. It is hoped that the new centre will reduce pressure on local hospitals with purposebuilt, modern facilities designed to meet the demands of an ageing population with
multiple healthcare needs.
This year World Mental Health Day will be held on 10 October. The Mental Health Foundation have shared some useful ‘How to’ guides which are filled with practical evidence-based information and tips on looking after your mental health which are available free to download.