Residents, businesses and schools in Tamworth must now rally once again as the country is placed in a new national lockdown to help prevent the NHS becoming overwhelmed by the new strain of Covid-19 this winter, the Borough Council has said.
In an address to the nation yesterday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the measures, including the closure of schools to most pupils until the February half term at the earliest.
This is because the country, and Staffordshire itself, are now at a critical point following a surge in cases as the new more infectious strain of Covid sweeps the country.
In Staffordshire, the average seven-day Covid-19 rate has climbed to around 400 per 100,000 population.
The Tamworth rate is also creeping up again and was 335 per 100,000 at the last count.
The West Midlands rate is around 465 and the national rate around 560. Cannock Chase, South Staffordshire and East Staffordshire already have rates of more than 500 per 100,000 population.
Cllr Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Borough Council’s lead councillor for Covid, said:
“Tamworth people have been fantastic throughout the whole of this health emergency, with people in the community stepping up for others and also by protecting themselves. Tamworth people’s actions on the whole have kept infection rates down and regularly we have seen our case rate as the lowest in Staffordshire.
“This is no coincidence, this is down to the efforts of every individual who is working hard to conform to the latest set of rules. However, the cases are rising again and we need to do everything we can to get this back under control.
“This new lockdown is necessary for all the reasons people are putting forward and there’s no doubt it’s going to be tough, although I don’t think the word ‘tough’ really covers things.
“This pandemic is something that none of us have endured before and has changed the way we lived in 2020 and now 2021, but by continuing to support each other through following the rules and helping our local communities we will come out the other side.
“Thank you to everyone who is taking responsibility and making an effort; whether it’s big or small, it’s helping keep Tamworth residents safer.”
Help is again available locally from Tamworth’s army of volunteers and Tamworth Borough Council for those who are shielding or vulnerable.
Anyone who needs help can contact the Tamworth Telephone Support Line on 01827 59646 between 10 am and 4 pm, seven days a week, in the first instance.
Help includes access to food, medication pick-ups and drop-offs, befriending, unemployment advice, finance/debt advice and signposting to other local services.
More information is also available on the Tamworth Borough Council website at www.tamworth.gov.uk.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire’s Director of Health and Care, said:
“Like everywhere, rates are spreading at an alarming rate in Staffordshire. While nobody wants further restrictions, the best chance of making sure we return to the freedoms we once knew is by sticking to the rules.
“One third of people who have the virus don’t show any symptoms. So, if you can’t stay at home because of work etc then please do get a test if asked to do so, even if you have no symptoms, as identifying more people who have the virus, so they can self-isolate, will help us reduce the spread of infection.
“We also all need to remember the basics of washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering and keeping our distance. All are simple steps, which together can make the biggest difference.”
The lockdown measures are in place now and include:
- People should only leave home for essential reasons: Such as going to work if you can’t work from home, shopping for necessities, limited exercise (once per day) and providing care
Other measures remain the same as the Tier 4 restrictions Tamworth was previously subject to. All shops deemed non-essential, as well as hospitality, leisure and entertainment facilities are closed.
This also impacts Tamworth market, but some stalls selling essential goods will still be available in the town on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Waste and recycling collections are continuing as normal. All council play areas will remain open as will Tamworth’s public toilets in the Castle Grounds, following the winter timetable. The outdoor gyms and tennis courts, however, are required to close during this lockdown period.
Tamworth Borough Council teams are working incredibly hard to maintain services and support to Tamworth residents. Anyone who needs help can continue to get in touch with our teams via a number of channels. This includes online at www.tamworth.gov.uk, via webchat, by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 01827 709709.
For updates on our council services, funding and support, please visit our council website page: www.tamworth.gov.uk/coronavirus-public-health-information.
|Here at Tamworth Informed, we want to say a huge thank you to all NHS Staff, Care Workers, Emergency Service Workers, Shop Staff and anyone else helping to keep us safe, healthy, fed, watered or connected to vital services during this difficult of the 3rd National Lockdown. Please stay safe and look after each other.|
On 4 January the Prime Minister announced that England was to enter a National Lockdown, meaning that we should all stay at home.