Warning of Covid danger in Sandwell hotspots

People living and working in the Cradley Heath and Old Hill, Blackheath and St Paul's areas of Sandwell are being warned to take extra care due to very high rates of Covid-19.

Infection rates in the three wards are around double the average rate for the whole of Sandwell. More than 100 residents have tested positive for Covid-19 in these three hotspots in the past week.

The Covid-19 infection rate in Blackheath is 269 cases per 100,000, whilst in Cradley Heath and Old Hill it's 250 per 100,000 and in the St Paul's area of Smethwick it's 248 per 100,000. The average infection rate for the whole of Sandwell is 134 per 100,000 – around half that of these three wards.

Covid-19 infections in the three hotspot wards are mainly among people aged 65 and under, with many cases being among households where somebody else had already tested positive. Many infections are among school age children. 

Sandwell’s Director of Public Health has called on people to take extra care, use rapid tests at home twice a week and to be particularly vigilant to infections among young people aged 11 to 16 – where the infection rates are highest. Dr Lisa McNally said:

“The case rates in Cradley Heath and Old Hill, Blackheath and St Paul's are causing us great concern. They are much, much higher than the rest of Sandwell, and to see more than 100 individuals test positive in the past week in just three wards is very concerning.


“I'm asking people living and working in these areas to take extra care to avoid becoming infected and passing Covid-19 on to others. In particular, if anyone has Covid-19 symptoms, stay home and book a test.

"If we don’t self-isolate when we have symptoms we can put other people’s lives at risk and, most importantly, if you’re not already vaccinated then please book your appointments now.

“It’s vital that everyone continues to do all they can to keep themselves safe and stop the spread of the virus – it’s still deadly and it’s still out there.”

Covid-19 vaccinations are now available to everyone over the age of 18. For details, and to book your first or second vaccination go to nhs.uk/covidvaccination.


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