2nd November 2021
Warning of Covid-19 danger over high case rates in two Sandwell hotspots
People living and working in the Cradley Heath & Old Hill and Rowley areas of Sandwell are being warned to take extra care due to very high rates of Covid-19.
Infection rates in the two wards are significantly higher than the average rate for the whole of Sandwell.
More than 130 residents have tested positive for Covid-19 in these two hotspots in the past week.
• The Covid-19 infection rate in Cradley Heath and Old Hill is 545 per 100,000 (76 people infected in past week).
• The rate in the Rowley ward is 486 per 100,000 (59 people infected in past week).
Covid-19 infections in the two hotspot wards are mainly among young people of secondary school age most of whom are now eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.
Sandwell’s cabinet member for adults, social care and health Councillor Suzanne Hartwell is calling 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.
Councillor Hartwell said: “The case rates in Cradley Heath & Old Hill and Rowley are of definite concern as they are significantly higher than the rest of Sandwell, and to see more than 130 individuals test positive in the past week in just two 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.
“We welcome an overall drop in infection rates but instances in these two wards show that we need to remain cautious throughout the winter period and that with more cases circulating in those two 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 12. For details, and to book your first or second vaccination go to www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination
Booster jabs are also available to those who had their second injection more than six months and one week ago.
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
We continue to encourage all residents to wear face coverings, socially distance where possible and wash hands frequently.