People in Wolverhampton are being urged to do all they can to help stop the spread of coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases nationally and locally continues to rise.

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust is now routinely testing people who display respiratory illness symptoms for coronavirus and, as is the case nationally, a large proportion of these tests are negative. 

In addition, a number of patients have been discharged from hospital in Wolverhampton and are safely isolating at home. 

The NHS and the City of Wolverhampton Council will be writing to all vulnerable residents providing important guidance to those most at risk. 

A significant number of council buildings have been closed to the public, while the council is writing to faith leaders in the city to encourage them to close places of worship.

The council has also launched a new Stay Safe, Be Kind social campaign offering clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Be Safe Be Kind.   

However, with more cases expected in the coming days, local residents are being urged to follow the advice of health professionals and adhere to the measures announced by the Government to help minimise the spread of coronavirus further. 

John Denley, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Public Health, said: "It is important that people should not be unduly worried by the increase in the number of coronavirus cases which are being confirmed nationally and locally - but it is equally important that we now all take steps to help prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

"In particular, this means following the social distancing measures announced by the Government earlier this week.

"If you are well, are under 70 or do not have an underlying health condition, you are advised to limit your social contact as much as possible, including using less public transport, working at home if you can and not going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and bars.

"If you are aged 70 and over, are younger but have an underlying health condition, or you are pregnant, you need to be particularly stringent in following the social distancing measures, and to also significantly limit face to face interaction with friends and family as much as possible.

"Washing your hands with soap and water more often, for at least 20 seconds, is still the best way that you can protect yourself and others. Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze into your elbow, not into your hand. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

"Clearly, the next few weeks are going to be incredibly difficult for everyone as we reduce our social interaction to protect our families and other people – but it is vitally important that we all follow this guidance so that we can all do our bit to help prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus."

There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families online at NHS - Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

For further information and guidance, please also visit Coronavirus advice and information.