People who live or work in the Glossop area are being urged to remain cautious after cases of Covid-19 were confirmed to be the new Indian variant that spreads more easily.
Derbyshire County Council say three cases of the Indian strain of the virus – classed as a 'variant of concern' – were confirmed in the Glossop area, and a further case of the variant was also found in the Derbyshire Dales.
Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace has renewed his call for residents and those employed in the Glossop area to get tested, whether they have symptoms or not, and says it remains vital that everyone in these communities continues to follow the guidelines and the ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’ rules – as this is the most effective way to control the spread of all variants of coronavirus.
The warning comes after one case of the Indian variant and one of the South African strain were confirmed in the community of Long Eaton in Erewash, taking the total number of cases of variants of concern in Derbyshire to six.
'Take a sensible approach at this time'
Mr Wallace said: “We understand that people will be concerned that three cases of the Indian variant have been confirmed in the Glossop area and one in the Derbyshire Dales, but I’d like to reassure everyone that we’re working closely with Public Health England to minimise the spread.
“There is currently no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness, are more deadly or make the current vaccines any less effective, but they do spread more easily – which is why we need everyone to be extra vigilant.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of getting a test if you have symptoms, including a wider range of symptoms which some people have been experiencing, as well as regular twice-weekly testing if you have no symptoms.
“We know one in three people who are carrying coronavirus don’t feel ill, so just because you feel ok doesn’t mean you haven’t got it – and you could be spreading it to your friends, family and work mates."
Derbyshire's Director of Public Health Dean Wallace. Image: Derbyshire County Council.
He went on: “It’s also vitally important that we continue to wear face masks where required unless you are exempt, to keep on washing your hands regularly and keep two metres away from anyone not in your household.
“I know people will be pleased to have regained more freedom following the relaxation of some rules this week, but I would ask everyone in Glossop area, Derbyshire Dales and throughout Derbyshire to take a sensible approach at this time and think carefully about the risks to their loved ones before making any decisions about mixing indoors.
“It’s true that opening windows and doors helps to disperse Covid particles in the air but it’s far safer to stay outside in the open air where the risk of catching the virus is much lower.”
Some people have been experiencing other symptoms
The main coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. But some people in the Long Eaton area who tested positive for the virus reported experiencing other symptoms including tummy ache, sore throat, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, feeling or being sick, headaches, joint pain, runny nose, sneezing, feeling drowsy, tiredness, muscle aches or generally feeling poorly.
People in the Glossop area, and Derbyshire Dales, are being advised to look out for these symptoms as they may be a sign that they have got coronavirus.
The county council say there is no need for people to self-isolate unless they have a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.
But anyone who does have any of the additional symptoms is advised to get a PCR test – tests that are sent to a laboratory – as a precaution. These tests are by appointment only and can be booked online at gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling NHS 119.
Anyone who has got a positive result from a lateral flow test should self-isolate immediately but may leave the house to take a confirmatory PCR test.
People who live or work in the Glossop area are being urged to get tested, especially if they have symptoms of Covid-19. Image: Nigel Wood.
Get a test in Gamesley
Tests are also available for people without any symptoms at the mobile community testing centre in Gamesley, where the number of coronavirus cases is high.
The centre at Gamesley Community Centre on Melandra Castle Road is open from 10am to 4pm daily and will be available until at least Friday 21 May. There’s no need to book these sessions, you can just turn up.
Alternatively, people can carry out tests at home if they have no symptoms. Kits are available from the testing centres and some pharmacies. For more details of how to get hold of home testing kits, as well as information about support you may be entitled to if you test positive and have to self-isolate, visit derbyshire.gov.uk/communitytesting.
Mr Wallace added: “We’ve come so far in our fight against this pandemic and the vaccine has been a real turning point, but this outbreak is a timely reminder that Covid hasn’t gone away and we still need to take precautions to protect those we love from this illness – especially those not yet vaccinated.
“Thanks to everyone continuing to follow the guidance and get tested regularly to help stop the spread. I’d urge everyone throughout Derbyshire to keep going and use your judgement to keep everyone safe.”
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