Wigan residents urged to follow Covid-19 guidelines as new cases climb

Professor Kate Ardern, the council's director of public health, acknowledged infections are rising across the borough as lockdown measures continue to ease with pupils returning to school and more employees heading back to their workplaces.
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She said the authorities were stepping up to deal with this and it was vital the public and businesses continue to follow the regulations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A rise in case numbers was expected as people venture out more and testing programmes have gradually been rolled out more widely.

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The latest Government data shows that the seven-day rolling average of cases between August 28 and September 3 is between none and nine in Wigan's individual neighbourhoods.

Professor Kate Ardern, Wigan Council director of public healthProfessor Kate Ardern, Wigan Council director of public health
Professor Kate Ardern, Wigan Council director of public health

However, with case rates going up the authorities are keen to stress there is no room for complacency.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham shared on Tuesday afternoon statistics suggesting the North West R rate was now around 1.33, though there was a fairly wide margin of error given.

Prof Kate Ardern said: “Our local outbreak management plan sets out how we will work across our borough to prevent, contain, and manage outbreaks and community transmission.

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“In line with the increased rates of new infections, and following this plan, we’ve now escalated our response with our aim being to act at the earliest stage to stop any further increase in infection rates.

“Our current focus is targeted messaging and increased compliance action and we are undertaking targeted work in specific areas where necessary, for example with our local businesses and in communities, should any potential hotspot be identified.

“We will continue to work with our schools to ensure they have protocols in place to effectively manage any cases and will support with advice and guidance.

"It’s so important people continue to follow the national guidance around wearing a face covering, washing hands regularly and keeping a 2m distance from others.

“Our message has always been we cannot be complacent – coronavirus has not gone away and we all have a responsibility to follow this advice to protect ourselves and others.”