Visiting arrangements at Wolverhampton’s care homes have been revised following a rise in the number of cases of coronavirus in the city and neighbouring local authority areas.

Essential and compassionate visiting, either for health reasons or end of life care, can continue as long as appropriate infection prevention measures, including the use of personal protective equipment, are in place.

However, non-essential visiting – indoor and outdoor - should be temporarily halted.

City of Wolverhampton Council has taken the decision as a precautionary measure to protect residents and staff, after consulting with Public Health.

Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "We know how important it is for families and friends to be able to visit their loved ones and have been working closely with local care homes to ensure this can be done as safely as possible.

"Unfortunately, due to an increase in coronavirus infection rates both locally and regionally, we have had to take the decision to temporarily halt non essential visiting.

"Our understanding of how the virus moves around our communities is still being formed and we feel it is necessary to take this precautionary measure so that we can tackle the spread of Covid-19 and protect people in high risk groups, including care home residents.

"By making this move now, we hope to reduce the risk of outbreaks similar to those in the first few weeks of the pandemic which sadly led to considerable loss of life in care homes in other parts of the country.

"We appreciate everyone's support in helping minimise risk to residents and staff who live and work in care homes in the city.”

People with symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting NHS or calling 119. There are four Covid-19 test centres in Wolverhampton, a drive-through at Aldersley Leisure Village and walk through centres at Showell Road off Stafford Road, Mountford Lane car park in Bilston and Whitmore Reans Health Centre.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.

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

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers 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 Stay Safe, Be Kind