'We're in danger of rates rising' - Oldham council leader's warning to residents

Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding is pleading with residents to "not mess up all the hard we've done over the last few weeks" and warning against complacency in a bid to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Oldham has seen its infection rate fall slightly, from 63.7 down to 58.2 per 100,000 people, according to Public Health England data as of the week ending 6 September. 

But it's still under 'a red alert' - when the rate is over 50 - while the average rate in England is 24.4. 

Meanwhile, rates across Greater Manchester have soared over the last week, with the infection rate for the region as a whole now 61 - the highest it has been since April at the height of the pandemic. 

And Councillor Fielding is warning people in Oldham that the borough is in danger of rates rising again and a tougher local lockdown being enforced if people don't follow the restrictions in place. 

'Let's not blow it'

He said: "Coronavirus is circulating across the borough and it’s challenging all of us. We’ve all had to make a lot of sacrifices over the last few months.

“You’ll have probably read or heard that our infection rates are no longer the highest in the UK. But we aren’t out of the woods yet - by a long way. We want that rate to fall quicker.

“If people become complacent and don’t follow the restrictions, we’re in danger of rates rising, and of a tougher local lockdown being enforced. And no one wants that."

Cllr Sean Fielding, leader of Oldham Council 

Cllr Fielding added: “Everyone needs to carry on playing their part, get tested and help stop the virus spreading. Do not socialise with people you don’t live with. If you are going into a shop, wear a face covering, unless you are exempt. Make sure you wash your hands regularly, and ensure social distancing when you’re out and about.

“It’s not a big ask, is it? Is it that hard to follow the rules and help stop the spread? Let’s not blow it.”

Cllr Fielding's warning comes after the government banned social gatherings of more than six people from Monday - with some exemptions - amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases.

The law change will ban larger groups meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors. But it will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.


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