More than 2,200 people are currently in hospitals across the wider Midlands region with Covid-19 – similar to the levels seen in back in April. And with more and more people being taken into intensive care, it is feared deaths will continue to rise over the coming weeks.
England was placed into a second national lockdown last week, with people encouraged to stay home and only leave for specific reasons such as education, shopping for groceries, exercise and work – if they cannot work from home. Other measures include the closure of non essential businesses, though schools, colleges and universities remain open.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “We have seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, and tragically, deaths over recent weeks, and very sadly more local families are going to suffer heartbreak because of this virus. We are particularly concerned about high infection rates among older people, who are most at risk of severe illness.”
Latest data shows there were 317.03 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 10 November. That means some 834 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.
Councillor Jaspal continued: "We hope that the lockdown measures introduced by the Government on 5 November will have an effect in helping to drive down the infection rate, but it will be at least another week before we start to see what impact it is having on case numbers.
“We've also had some really positive news on the development of a vaccine this week – but until this is rolled out, Covid-19 isn't going to go away. So, please continue to follow the Government restrictions to keep yourself, your loved ones and your community safe – doing this can and will save lives.
“Stay at home as much as you can; if you must go out, stay 2m away from other people, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering in shops and other enclosed spaces and on public transport. And if you have symptoms of Covid-19, remember you must self isolate and book a test as soon as possible, and continue to self isolate while you await your result.”
Superintendent Simon Inglis from Wolverhampton Police said: “We appreciate the considerable effort required by all in order to comply with these restrictions which none of us wanted or ever imagined. However we have to take a hard look at the position we are in as a city and recognise that we will only beat this virus if we all work together and comply with the restrictions.
"I have dedicated a significant but proportionate number of officers to the task of ensuring compliance with the restrictions and I offer my sincere thanks to the vast majority of you that are. However, can I please ask for your support in not only continuing in this vein but also encouraging your friends and family to comply also. The restrictions are clear and need to be followed by us all if we are going to make a difference.
"As always, as an organisation we only ever want to provide the absolute best service to the community when you contact us in times of need or crisis. Your help in following the guidance and complying with the restrictions will provide my staff with the best opportunity to provide that service and invest their time in delivering against that ask – please help us to help you."
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. Details of the national lockdown measures in effect until 2 December, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at COVID Alert.
Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. To book a test, visit GOV.UK or call 119. People can get tested within 8 days of developing symptoms.