Important Covid Update 9.3.21

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As children return to school and mix, it’s inevitable the virus will spread, so it’s important that those of us that aren’t school children, do all we can to prevent the Virus spreading. This means staying at home as much as possible and observing the lockdown.

Although we have seen significant decrease in the infection rate locally, it remains well above average compared to the rest of the country. Pressure on the hospital is decreasing, but we know that as soon as mixing begins again, rates will creep up, so we need to get them as low as possible in the next few weeks.

At the moment the main ways that people in Calderdale are coming into contact with the virus, is through their work, and through this there is onward transmission in households. The local economy in Calderdale and neighbouring areas means that fewer people can do their jobs at home. If fewer people can work from home in Calderdale than elsewhere, it is all the more important that those that can work from home do.

When we go into the workplace, we need to be even more vigilant than ever before. This means staying at least 2 metres away from other people at all times, including during breaks. We should all wear a face covering unless we are medically exempt and should wash hands frequently. It’s also really important that there is good ventilation and fresh air circulating. 

Community Rapid Flow Testing for people without symptoms

Community Rapid Flow testing is available twice weekly to  anyone who needs to leave home to go to work.  These are rapid tests (sometimes called Lateral Flow Tests).

You can book a test at the two testing stations in Todmorden College and St John’s Health Centre, Halifax (which is a drive-through), on the Calderdale Council website. The test are analysed on site and results are returned after about one hour.

Anybody can request a rapid test who lives or works in Calderdale; and has a job that means they come into contact with people they do not live with.

  • The tests are very reliable for people who get a positive result. A positive result means you almost certainly have COVID-19. There is no need to get a follow up lab test (PCR test) as well.
  • The rapid tests are less reliable than the lab tests when it comes to a negative result. A negative result does not mean you do not have the virus. You may still have the virus, but not have enough of it in your body to show up on the test. If you get a negative result from a rapid test, you must still follow all the COVID-19 guidance.
  • Do you work outside your home in a job that means you mix with people you do not live with? If you do, we advise that you take a rapid test twice a week.
  • You do not need to self-isolate while waiting for your test results.
  • Young people (under 18) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who will be asked to administer the test.
  • These tests are only for people without symptoms of COVID. If you think you could have COVID-19, please arrange for a PCR test (as above).

There is financial support to self isolate available for people who qualify who have a positive test, or who have been identified as a contact of someone who is positive – Test and Trace support payment

BE PREPARED TO ISOLATE

In the same way that you might have a plan for what to do in case of floods, or fire, you should have a plan for what to do if you have to self-isolate immediately. Who will walk the dog? How will you get your shopping? Whatever your need we should be able to help you, request support from Calderdale Council, or phone 01422 392890.