'Self test' plea as Northumberland classed as Covid-19 blackspot
A Northumberland health boss has urged people to self test for Covid as cases spiral across the county.
The government has added a new category to its online information portal about Covid, and latest data shows that Northumberland is classed as a blackspot – along with five other areas.
A blackspot is where at least 1,600 in 100,000 people have tested positive for the virus.
Northumberland has a case rate of 1,805 per 100,000 people, and 5,845 positive cases were recorded in the seven days to January 1.
Durham is the only part of the North East currently not classed as a blackspot.
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Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health at Northumberland County Council, said: “Cases of the Omicron variant continue to increase, and community transmission has now become established in all parts of England.
“Preventing infection in the first place and breaking chains of infection as quickly as possible can stop the virus from spreading.
“We know what works in that respect, so we continue to encourage people to come forward for both doses of the vaccine and the booster as soon as they’re offered; wear face coverings where required and in busy places; make use of lateral flow tests and self-isolate straight away if you test positive; or if you develop symptoms, self-isolate and get a PCR test; and work from home wherever that’s possible.
“If we all do all of these things, all of the time, we will prevent transmission of infection and reduce the risk of the most vulnerable suffering from severe disease or dying.”
Ms Morgan said that lateral flow tests would help people isolate before they can spread the virus.
She added: “Making use of flow tests help to ensure residents aren’t spreading Covid without realising it, particularly if they’re going to a crowded indoor place or visiting someone who may be at higher risk of coming to harm from Covid 19.
“Our advice is to continue to be cautious to protect our families, friends, and communities.
“Whether the government brings in further measures or not, everyone has a part in preventing the spread of Covid by taking these simple precautions when we’re going about our daily lives. “