'Major incident' declared as Covid-19 cases rise across Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester’s Strategic Coordination Group has declared a ‘major incident’ in Greater Manchester as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise across the region.

While the language might sound alarming, the guidelines announced by the government on Thursday have not changed, and the move will allow public agencies to access any additional resources they need to work together to combat the spread as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Over the past 7 days Trafford has had one of the highest rates of increase of infection in the UK and local health officials are urging residents to stick to the new rules in order to drive down the number of infections as quickly as possible.

The key elements of the new guidelines are as follows:

  • Do not visit someone’s home or garden unless you have formed a support bubble
  • Do not socialise with people you don’t live with at indoor venues
  • Do not meet in outdoor public spaces in groups of more than six

Anyone experiencing symptoms should get a test – which can be booked online or by calling 119. Anyone with a positive test must self-isolate for 10 days, and household contacts need to self-isolate for 14 days.  As well as giving contact tracers details of contacts, anyone testing positive is encouraged to use their own social media to let friends, colleagues and family know they might be at risk and to encourage them to take a test – as this is a very effective way to raise people’s awareness and to increase the uptake of testing.

Eleanor Roaf, Trafford Council’s Director of Public Health said:

“At the moment the cases in Trafford are mainly in our working age population but we know the risks of Covid 19 increase sharply if you are older, or if you have underlying health conditions. 

We need to make sure that we stop any infection reaching more vulnerable people, which means changing our behaviour in order to keep people of all ages safe.

We would ask everyone to familiarise themselves with the new guidelines and minimise contact with others to protect themselves, their friends and family. When you are out and about, make sure that you keep to the 2m social distancing, stay outdoors as much as you can, and remember to wash your hands regularly. Wearing a face covering will help protect others as well.”

Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council added:

“We would like to thank all our residents for everything they are doing to reduce the spread of this disease. This is a difficult time for everyone, but with a concerted effort across the borough we are confident we can reverse this recent trend and bring the number of infections back down again.”

Posted on Tuesday 4th August 2020