Enhanced testing to combat rising Covid rates

Mobile testing sites, a renewed push for vaccine take up and door-to-door community engagement is being rolled-out in parts of the borough to combat rising Coronavirus infection rates.

Bolton’s local infection rate has risen substantially and the measures are a stark reminder that the pandemic is far from over.

On Friday, the Government confirmed a surge testing programme in Rumworth, Deane and Great Lever after Covid variants of concern were identified in the areas.

Everyone living or working in those areas who does not have Covid-19 symptoms is urged to attend a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) for a PCR test. This will help identify asymptomatic people (people with no symptoms) who may be spreading the virus without realising it.

MTUs are at at:

  • Memory Lane Wedding Venue, Gilnow Lane (BL3 5EL)
  • Makkah Mosque, Grecian Crescent (BL3 6QU)

Home PCR test kits will also be available for collection and return at:

  • Deane Road Temple (Shree Swaminarayan Mandir), 161 Deane Road (BL3 5AH)

All are open 7 days a week, 10am to 4pm. You do not need an appointment.

Additional measures will be introduced in the coming days the borough focuses on bringing the virus under control.

  • More MTUs will be opened
  • A renewed vaccine pushed targeted at those living in the affected areas who are eligible to be vaccinated
  • Door-to-door engagement with the community to encourage take-up of surge testing and vaccination
  • Leaflet drops at every household within the areas
  • Working with voluntary organisations and community leaders to engage with different communities
  • Translated materials and interpretation services so that members of our community are aware of the messages
  • A social media campaign led by our local communities to encourage uptake of PCR testing and vaccination

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should book a test as normal through the national portal and attend one of the regular PCR testing sites or order a home test kit.

Anyone with a positive PCR test in the last 90 days does not need to attend an MTU.

Testing, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space and following national guidance, will help stop the virus spreading. 

Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate immediately and pass on their contacts’ details to NHS Test and Trace. Financial help and other support are available for those asked to self-isolate.

Health leaders are reminding all residents that we remain at Step 2 of the government’s Covid-19 roadmap.

  • People should not be meeting indoors with anyone outside their household or bubble
  • Meetings outdoors remain limited to six people or two households
  • If you are able to work from home, please do so
  • Continue with public health measures including regular hand washing, maintaining social distancing even when meeting others outdoors, wearing face coverings and letting fresh air in.
  • Have the vaccine when invited to attend and book a test immediately if you do have symptoms.

Dr Helen Lowey, Bolton Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The rising infection rate is a reminder for us all that Covid-19 is still with us here in Bolton

“We have seen and felt the devastating consequences of this virus and how quickly it can spread quickly across our communities.

“If you live or work in Rumworth, Deane or Great Lever, help keep everyone safe by taking a PCR test at one of our MTU’s or by taking a home test kit. And do attend for your vaccine if eligible.

“There is no evidence these variants cause more severe illness; there is some evidence that the Indian variant spreads more easily than other Covid-19 variants so it is the one that we want to stop and contain.

“We are working closely with our partners across the community to identify people who have the virus, to increase the numbers of our eligible residents having the vaccine and to remind us all that Covid has not gone away.

“These measures are designed to bring the virus under control, but there are basic things we can all do to stop Covid spreading. Wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, maintain social distancing, keep areas well ventilated and take up the vaccine when it is offered.”

Dr Helen Wall, Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Bolton, said: “It is proven that vaccination has a significant impact on the spread and severity of the virus, so we will be taking steps to provide additional capacity in these areas.

“We have a good track record of vaccination and a high level of confidence in the programme already in Bolton and we aim to build on that with some targeted vaccination work to try and nip this in the bud to protect everyone in Bolton.

“We are so close to getting things back to normal; let’s keep up the momentum and stop this virus from spreading further.”

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