Coronavirus Briefing – copy of information issued by Oldham Council earlier today

The numbers of people testing positive for coronavirus in Oldham has increased significantly over the last week.

We have seen 119 cases in the seven days to 25 July. By comparison the week ending 17 July saw just 26 positive cases.

This means a current rate 50.2 positive tests per 100,000 versus 10.2 per 100,000 the week before.

Coronavirus is circulating throughout the Borough with positive cases in all areas of Oldham, however:

  • We are seeing increasing numbers of younger people (those in their twenties and thirties) testing positive over the last seven days.
  • A significant proportion of recent cases involve multiple individuals testing positive within a household, showing that household spread is a real issue – especially in households with large families
  • A large number of recent cases were in our Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities (just over 65% of cases in the last seven days).
  • We’ve seen a small number of cases in care homes this week – the first for a number of weeks.

While this increase in cases locally is worrying it’s important to note that we are not yet seeing the numbers of cases that saw a local lockdown imposed elsewhere in the country. What we are seeking to do is act early to avoid the possibility of a future local lockdown.

Later today we will be announcing new local public health guidelines for residents and businesses.

These are intended to reduce the spread of the virus and avoid a local lockdown.

Updated guidance

From today people in Oldham must ensure they:

  • Do not make social visits to friends or family, or have visitors to their home
  • Do not visit friends or family in care homes or sheltered accommodation
  • Stick to social distancing guidelines, keeping two metres away from people not in their household or support bubble – meaning no hand shaking or hugging
  • Stay shielded for a further two weeks if they are on the shielding register

Businesses must ensure they:

  • Are doing all they can to protect employees and customers by encouraging social distancing, promoting wearing of masks where required and enabling good hygiene
  • Supporting NHS Test and Trace in containing the virus by gathering customer and visitor information

These local guidelines will remain in place for a period of two weeks and will be reviewed no later than Tuesday 11 August.

We know that effective testing is at the heart of tackling the spread of the virus. We are urging anyone who shows symptoms that may be coronavirus to book a test online.

We have good availability for testing at our sites at Southgate Street and home testing kits are available. We are working to increase the amount of testing available to Oldham residents by establishing new mobile and pop-up testing sites.

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