1st July 2021




(With maps linked below of Blackheath ward, Cradley Heath and Old Hill ward, and St Paul’s ward – click on the images to download)

People living and working in the Cradley Heath and Old Hill, Blackheath and St Paul’s areas of Sandwell are being warned to take extra care due to very high rates of Covid-19.

Infection rates in the three wards are around double the average rate for the whole of Sandwell.

More than 100 residents have tested positive for Covid-19 in these three hotspots in the past week.

  • The Covid-19 infection rate in Blackheath is 269 cases per 100,000 (33 people infected in past week).
  • The infection rate in Cradley Heath and Old Hill is 250 per 100,000 (35 people infected in past week).
  • The rate in the St Paul’s area of Smethwick is 248 per 100,000 (39 people infected in past week).
  • The average infection rate for the whole of Sandwell is 134 per 100,000 – around half that of these three wards.


Covid-19 infections in the three hotspot wards are mainly among people aged 65 and under, with many cases being among households where somebody else had already tested positive. Many infections are among school age children.

Sandwell’s Director of Public Health has called on people to take extra care, use rapid tests at home twice a week and to be particularly vigilant to infections among young people aged 11 to 16 – where the infection rates are highest.

Dr Lisa McNally said: “The case rates in Cradley Heath and Old Hill, Blackheath and St Paul’s are causing us great concern.

“They are much, much higher than the rest of Sandwell, and to see more than 100 individuals test positive in the past week in just three wards is very concerning.

“I’m asking people living and working in these areas to take extra care to avoid becoming infected and passing Covid-19 on to others.

“In particular, if anyone has Covid-19 symptoms, stay home and book a test. If we don’t self-isolate when we have symptoms we can put other people’s lives at risk.

“And, most importantly, if you’re not already vaccinated then please book your appointments now.

“This advice goes for everyone in Sandwell of course – however, with more cases circulating in those three particular wards, the risk of becoming infected is much higher.

“It’s vital that everyone continues to do all they can to keep themselves safe and stop the spread of the virus – it’s still deadly and it’s still out there.”

Covid-19 vaccinations are now available to everyone over the age of 18. For details, and to book your first or second vaccination go to www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination

Pop-up clinics are operating in Sandwell – for details follow us on Facebook and Twitter and check www.sandwell.gov.uk/news for updates.

Second jabs for people aged 40+ who had their first dose eight weeks or longer ago are also available with no appointment at Tipton Sports Academy (8am-6pm) and the Saddlers Centre in Walsall (8am-7pm).

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms must self-isolate – along with their whole household – and book a Covid-19 test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

Everyone without Covid-19 symptoms is encouraged to use a rapid test twice a week to make sure they do not have the virus without realising. For details on how to get rapid tests go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/testsandwell




Published: 1st July 2021