Enhanced Resource Area - Covid self testing

Cheshire East has been identified as a ‘Enhanced Resource Area’ by the Government.

The move aims to help combat the rapid rise of the Delta (Indian) variant across the borough.

There are significant outbreaks in the Crewe/Nantwich and Macclesfield areas.

The variant is more transmissible and cases are rising in other areas of the north west, including Cheshire West, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, which have also been placed into this category.

Being an Enhanced Resource Area is not a local lockdown or a return to a tiered system.

It means Cheshire East Council can access support and guidance to address rapidly rising infection rates.

This can include driving vaccine uptake, calling for military aid, and additional testing support – including schools testing, and other assistance and support.

Cllr Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We welcome any additional practical support in our fight against Covid in Cheshire East.

“This new designation from government recognises the prevalence of the Delta variant and the rapidly increasing rates in the borough and it very much reflects the measures we have been putting in place locally over the last few weeks as local data showed us that infections were rising.

“For example, we have worked with the Department of Health and Social Care and Sodexo to bring in additional testing capacity.

“We are working closely with schools around testing and other measures such as face coverings.

“And I, with the other Cheshire council leaders, have written to the Secretary of State for Health about vaccines.

“My key ask is for additional vaccination supply. Cheshire’s vaccination programme has been a great success so far and we stand ready to ramp up vaccinations which are currently constrained by the supply available to us.”

Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Craig Browne, said: “This announcement acknowledges the reality of the situation in Cheshire.

“I want to reassure our residents that if we all keep on doing the right things to protect our families, friends and local communities, we will get on top of this.”

Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “We have seen cases of the new Delta variant of coronavirus increase dramatically over the last couple of weeks in Cheshire East, in particular significant outbreaks related to hospitality and catering establishments, retail outlets and in our schools.

“Having seen the substantial increase in transmission in our Greater Manchester neighbours and increasingly across the north west, it was sadly only a matter of time before the spread was to be seen across Cheshire given our strong links with work, travel and friends and family.

“We know the importance of the vaccine programme, with all the current evidence suggesting the massively positive protective benefits of having both doses of the vaccine in helping prevent serious illness and hospitalisation of the new Delta variant.

“We will therefore be asking for significant increases in the vaccine supply for our communities and much-improved access to vaccination sites and pop-up clinics across our borough, alongside greater levels of testing and self-isolation support.”

Anyone aged 25 and over (and aged 23 and 24 from Tuesday June 15) is invited to book their Covid-19 vaccine.

Visit: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine

All residents are being asked to get a Covid-19 test called a PCR test – especially those in customer facing roles and those in the 18-39 age group, whether they have symptoms or not or have been vaccinated.

To book a test visit: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and select ‘My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms’ or call 119.

In addition, all residents in the borough are asked to take no-symptoms COVID-19 tests, called Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) twice a week.

For information on where to get tested or pick up home testing kits visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/covid-testing

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