PEOPLE across Barrow are being urged to make sure they maintain social distancing in light of rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the borough.
Infection levels have increased slightly across the county over the last week. However, Barrow reported the highest incidence of new cases – up from 0 to 11 with additional cases confirmed in the last few days.
These are known to be the result of separate and unlinked clusters traced back to residents who have become infected after visiting other areas.
A dedicated incident management unit has now been set up to monitor and investigate infection levels in the borough.
Led by the multi-agency Cumbria Health Protection Board, it will guide the public health response in a bid to prevent further spread.
Extra testing capacity is also available in Barrow through the county’s mobile testing units.
These have been in situ – in the Waterfront Car Park, in Dova Way – since Wednesday and will remain in place for the next week.
Only those who experience one or more symptoms of Covid-19 should seek a test unless directed to do so by a health professional. These symptoms include:
- a new, continuous cough
- a high temperature
- or a loss of taste and smell
Tests must be booked in advance through www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 between 7am and 11pm.
Actions everyone can take are:
- maintain social distancing in line with current advice
- wash hands regularly
- book a test if you experience symptoms
- follow the advice of contact tracers if they get in touch
- wear a face covering or mask in enclosed spaces or where required
- follow new regulations on socialising in groups of no more than six people from Monday
Colin Cox, director of Public Health for Cumbria, said every single resident in Barrow had a part to play in the fight against transmission of the coronavirus.
“Infection rates are rising across Cumbria in line with the picture nationally.
“However, cases have risen more quickly in Barrow over the last couple of weeks, prompting the launch of a thorough and ongoing investigation into their origins, similar to that undertaken in Carlisle last month.
“That work has shown the cases are the result of a number of separate, small clusters.
“What’s clear is just how vital it is for everyone to take social distancing extremely seriously, wherever you are. The threat from Covid-19 has not gone away.
“Wash your hands regularly, wear a mask in enclosed spaces and book a test through the NHS website if you experience symptoms.”
He added: “We really need everyone to take note of the new regulations coming into play from Monday and act accordingly.
“If we fail to get a grip now there is a risk of further infections no-one wants.”
Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, said:
“So many people across our borough are being cautious about coronavirus and I thank them all for continuing to follow advice on social distancing, washing hands and for seeking a test if they have any of the symptoms.
“However, everyone needs to remember there are no exceptions to this and none of us should be complacent.
“The rising levels of infection are a warning to us all that we need to continue to be vigilant and do all we can to stop it from spreading in our community.”