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Enhanced testing being rolled out in part of Derbyshire

Published: 2 June 2021

Enhanced testing is being rolled out in an area of Derbyshire as part of a co-ordinated response to rising COVID-19 infection rates, including cases of the variant which originated in India.

We are working with NHS Test and Trace, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, High Peak Borough Council and NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group in an effort to slow the transmission rate in Gamesley.

It comes as the weekly cases of coronavirus in the Gamesley and Glossop area have trebled. In the final 2 weeks of May, 63 people tested positive for COVID - of which 42 were either confirmed or suspected to be variants of concern - compared to 22 people who tested positive in the last 2 weeks of April.

Every household in Gamesley will get free PCR tests delivered to their door on Thursday or Friday (3 and 4 June 2021) and people over the age of 5 at each address will be encouraged to take a test.

A walk-in vaccination clinic will also be held in Gamesley on Saturday 5 June 2021 for those eligible people living in the area who have yet to take up the offer of having their first dose of the vaccine.

Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace described the outbreak of COVID-19 as concerning and urged everyone living in the area to use the PCR tests to protect their loved ones, their friends and their community.

He said:

“Despite all our best efforts cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Gamesley, including the variant first discovered in India. This significant outbreak reminds us that we cannot afford to let our guard down as we ease out of restrictions.

“While there’s no evidence that this strain causes a more serious illness and the vaccines remain highly effective in protecting us against it, it does spread more easily – which is why we need everyone to be on their guard.

“There’s a real chance to stop the virus from spreading but we need the community to pull together and do the right thing and I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a test.

“We’re asking everyone aged 5 and over who lives on the Gamesley estate to do a PCR test to help keep themselves, their family and their community safe.”

Fire service, public health and our staff will drop off free PCR test kits to residents on Thursday and Friday and will then return later to collect them for testing in a laboratory.

People are asked to take the test, whether they have symptoms or not, as one in three people can carry the virus without showing any symptoms and could be passing it on without knowing.

The PCR test is the most reliable test for COVID-19 and is done by taking a swab of the throat and nose. Children under 11 should be helped by an adult. Results are usually returned within one to 2 days and help to keep track of cases, including new variants of COVID-19.

Residents who need it will be offered advice and support to carry out the tests themselves and once completed they will place them in a secure container outside their property which will be collected later.

On Saturday, a vaccination bus will park up at Winster Mews car park, off Melandra Castle Road in Gamesley (SK13 0LU) and anyone who is eligible and has yet to have their first dose of the vaccine can go along between 9.45am and 3pm.

There’s no need to book, just turn up, but please don’t attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have recently tested positive. If residents prefer, they can book a time for a COVID vaccination or they can ring their GP.

NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG Co-chairmen Dr Asad Ali and Dr Ashwin Ramachandra said:

“The rise in cases of the new COVID variant in Gamesley makes it important to vaccinate as many people as possible to provide protection, stop the spread and help us get back to normal.

“We’d encourage those eligible in Gamesley who have not yet had their jab to come along. A team of friendly professionals and community volunteers will be on hand to guide and support you through the quick and easy process.”

If residents cannot attend the pop-up clinic, they can book locally or book a COVID vaccination at a mass vaccination centre or by calling NHS 119.

Councillor Anthony Mckeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council and Gamesley resident, added:

“Local people might be concerned about the increase in the infection rate in Gamesley, but there are things we can all do to keep it under control.

“That’s why we’re working together with our partners to offer easy access testing and vaccination services to the local community. I urge everyone to take the test and, if you’re eligible, go along to the walk-in clinic on Saturday and get your first vaccination.

“Our actions do count, and it’s as important as ever that we do what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Dean Gazzard said:

“We have around 25 fire service personnel and various fire service vehicles supporting local resilience forum partners setting up and facilitating the central hub for surge testing in the Gamesley area.

“While we have been supporting the community response to COVID-19 since February 2020, everyone has their own part to play in helping to prevent the spread of the virus, so I would like to encourage everyone living in the area to use the PCR tests that will be delivered and collected from them, to help protect their family, friends and the community.”

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency, added:

“With cases of the variant first identified in India continuing to rise in some areas, we are urging people to be very cautious and follow the guidance on hygiene, face coverings, social distancing and meeting outdoors. We now know that getting both vaccine doses gives a high degree of protection against this variant and we urge everyone to have the vaccine when the NHS invites you.

“Please follow the public health advice and make sure that you remain careful, work from home if you can, meet people outside where possible and remember ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times. This is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this variant.”

Anyone without symptoms does not need to self-isolate while they wait for test results and can still go to work if they cannot work from home.

If they have any of the 3 main symptoms of COVID-19 then you must self-isolate immediately for 10 days. The 3 main symptoms are:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste

If a resident or their child has to self-isolate and they are on a low income they could be eligible for a one-off payment of £500. They can also get support with things like shopping and picking up prescriptions.