Kingswood is a Covid-19 hotspot
PART of Kingswood has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the country.
As the Voice went to print, the latest data from the Office of National Statistics showed a rate for the Kingswood North East area of 1001.8 cases per 100,000 residents.
The average for South Gloucestershire as a whole stood at 376.
The number of cases in Kingswood North East rose by 78 in the week to January 17.
Other local districts saw a fall in rates per 100,000 during the same period and were around or below the average: Kingswood South, 372; Staple Hill South and Kingswood North West, 351; Cadbury Heath North and Bitton, 375 and Cadbury Heath South and North Common, 362.
Kingswood councillor Andrea Reid appealed to local people to take seriously the huge spike in infections during January.
“It’s so important we all do what we can to protect each other now. We all want normality back. Continually rising numbers will only delay it. Let’s work together to get these numbers down,” she said.
A rapid testing centre was due to open at Kingswood Leisure Centre on January 27. It will be open five days a week, (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) from 9am-5pm for pre-booked appointments only.
Slots can be booked now at https://beta.southglos.gov.uk/book-rapid-flow-test/
Rapid testing (also known as community testing) to find residents who have Covid-19 but are not displaying any symptoms is vital as those people can then isolate and prevent the virus from spreading.
The test, which uses a sample of saliva to look for signs of Covid-19, returns results within an hour.
Anyone living or working in South Gloucestershire will be able to get access to the tests, with those in roles that bring them into contact with the community being prioritised, with the offer of weekly slots.
Critical workers not already part of national testing programmes are invited to get tested.
These include health and social care staff, early years and nursery workers, funeral directors, crematorium and cemetery staff, bus and taxi drivers and staff in essential shops.
The team at Ellacombe Pharmacy are about to start running a Covid-19 vaccination centre at Longwell Green Community Centre.
The plan is to start with a programme of nine to 12 hours daily.
Appointments will be through the National Booking Service, so please do not contact the pharmacy - wait for an invitation. Volunteers will be needed to run the clinics so if you are able to help do get in touch.