16th November 2021
UPDATED: Rowley Regis residents urged to stay safe and reduce COVID-19 infection rates
COVID-19 rates in Sandwell are among the lowest in the region, but infection rates remain high in Rowley Regis, particularly in the Rowley and Blackheath wards.
Rowley Regis is made up of four council wards – Rowley, Blackheath, Cradley Heath and Old Hill and Tividale. These four wards are where confirmed cases of Covid-19 are highest in Sandwell. Case rates are highest in young people between the ages of 11 to 25.
The current weekly COVID-19 infection rate in the Rowley ward (519 per 100,000 people) is twice the average for Sandwell as a whole (261 per 1000,000 people).
In Blackheath the infection rate is 451 per 100,000 people.
In Rowley there is also a higher incidence of the AY.4.2 variant, compared to other Sandwell areas. This sub-variant is closely related to the Delta variant, which has been dominant in the UK for a while. AY.4.2 is currently rising across the country.
Sandwell residents are urged to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus to help protect themselves and others:
• Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer
• Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet
• Get tested regularly and self-isolate if required
• If you haven’t already, get vaccinated.
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for adults, social care and health, said: “AY.4.2 is thought to be more transmissible but there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness and the vaccine is very effective against it.
“It’s absolutely crucial that if we have COVID-19 symptoms we stay home and get tested. Ignoring this advice can cost lives.
“I’d also advise that no one goes into this winter without having their vaccines. Missing out on that protection will leave you much more vulnerable to severe illness. Get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and the booster jab if you’re eligible.”
More information on where vaccinations are available in Sandwell is here: www.blackcountryandwestbirmccg.nhs.uk/your-health-services/health-advice/covid-19-vaccination
You can book your vaccination here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/