Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health has warned residents to remain vigilant as Covid-19 infections in the city rise.

With winter approaching, John Denley has called on people to increase their efforts to stop the spread of the potentially deadly virus, and to take simple steps such as wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing and meeting others outside where possible.

He said: "This week the Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that it is possible for infections to reach 100,000 a day as we move into winter.

"Locally, our infection rates have remained relatively stable in recent weeks and Wolverhampton has been faring well compared to other places across the West Midlands. However, we are now seeing small but consistent daily increases in the infection rate.

"In just the last few days, the city’s rate has steadily climbed from 322 to 405 cases per 100,000 people – that's the equivalent of well over 1,000 residents testing positive for Covid-19 every week.

"If nothing else, this serves as a timely reminder that Covid’s not over and that we must continue to be vigilant as we move into winter.

"There has been some speculation about the reintroduction of restrictions such as the requirement to wear face coverings in more settings and working from home where possible – however any such changes would be driven by the Government.

"For us, the focus remains on encouraging residents to get both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, plus their booster shot if they are eligible for it. We also need as many people as possible to get their flu vaccine because, with Covid-19 still circulating in the community, an increase in seasonal flu could overwhelm hospitals and other NHS services.

"You should continue to get a regular rapid Covid-19 test and take sensible precautions such as wearing face coverings and practising social distancing when you’re in enclosed spaces with people you do not normally meet, and on public transport. If you are meeting up with others, try and do so outdoors where possible, and try to let as much fresh air in as they can if you are meeting indoors. 

"These are all simple steps which we know to be effective – and by making small changes to our routine we can make a big difference to the infection rate."

For details of the Covid-19 vaccine, including local walk in sites, please visit COVID-19 vaccination

Flu vaccinations are free to everyone aged 50 and over, pregnant women and frontline health care staff. People in long stay residential care homes and carers are also eligible, as well as close contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised. Adults who are not eligible for a free flu vaccination can get it for a small charge from certain high street pharmacies. For details, visit Flu Vaccines

The Covid-19 booster programme is running alongside the flu vaccination programme, and clinics will be offering both doses at the same time, where possible, to those eligible for both types of vaccination.

For details of rapid testing, for people without symptoms of Covid-19, please visit Coronavirus Testing. People with symptoms of Covid-19 must self isolate and book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting GOV.UK

Latest figures show there were 405.8 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 1,067 people tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of cases will likely be higher.