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Do your bit to stop the rise of covid variants

Press Release: 11/05/2021

TAMESIDE residents are being urged to keep sticking to covid safety rules to help stop the spread of variants of concern which are on in the increase in the region.
While Tameside currently has one of the lowest covid rates in Greater Manchester at 23.8 cases per 100,000 of the population - which is a great testament to everyone’s commitment to doing the right thing - it is still a very fragile situation.
Cases both locally and across the city region have started to creep back up over the past few days and rates in a neighbouring authority have seen a sharp increase with a variant of concern announced.
With interconnected communities, and increased mixing, it’s absolutely vital everyone keeps sticking to the rules and the very effective measures of washing hands, social distancing, wearing a face covering and letting in fresh air so that Tameside has the lowest rates possible before the further easing of restrictions from 17 May, which is expected to cause rates nationally to rise.
In the meantime, the local vaccination programme is going well, with all the signs showing the vaccine is working in offering protection and reducing transmission.
Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “Thank you to everyone for the endurance and commitment you have shown in continuing to stick to the rules to protect yourselves, your loved ones and your community. While it is great to see this paying off, with relatively low covid rates currently in Tameside, we cannot ease up on our efforts yet. As we have seen elsewhere, cases can shoot up very quickly and have indeed started to creep back up across Greater Manchester and the north west.
“Increasing rates now doesn’t put us in the best position for the further easing of restrictions’ later this month. So we must all be as vigilant today as we have been from day one in sticking to the rules and doing everything we can to prevent the spread of covid in our Tameside community – let’s all  keeping working together to keep our local number of cases to a minimum to give us the best chance possible of moving forward with more normal lives as quickly and safely as possible.”
Tameside Director of Public Health Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy said: “At this point, Public Health England is still studying whether this new variant is more transmissible, or causes a more severe illness or will make the vaccine less effective. So we must all do all we can to keep on top of all COVID transmission, to prevent variants from taking hold.
“The best way to stop covid and variants of concern is to keep doing your bit – wash your hands regularly, keep socially distanced, wear a face covering and let in fresh air. Socialise outdoors, work from home if you can, get vaccinated as soon as you’re invited and take up the offer of regular rapid testing.
“If everyone plays their part by continuing to follow this advice, we can help to break the chain of transmission and protect our loved ones.”
You can find out more about how to get regularly tested for covid here – the service is free, easy and open for everyone without symptoms and can be done at a local testing site or with a home kit.
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