Risk of Local Lockdown if Covid-19 Cases Continue to Rise

Hounslow borough has seen London's biggest rise in cases so far this month

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If cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Hounslow the borough could “risk a local lockdown”, the local public health boss has warned.

Hounslow’s director of public health Kelly O’Neill provided an update on Saturday, August 15, that the borough had seen a “large rise” in cases at the end of last week, particularly in areas of Heston, Hounslow Central/West, Cranford and Chiswick.

It comes as the health chief warned on August 11 there was an “infection spread” in the borough after 37 cases were confirmed in several days with Heston East initially identified as the main focus of new cases.

Data tracking of Public Health England figures by the Local Government Association, found that Hounslow’s cumulative cases appeared to hike from July 30, at 411 cases per 100,000 of the population, to 432.4 per 100,000 by August 11. This is an increase of 21.4. This compares to the median of all London boroughs of 385.6 per 100,000 from July 30, to 397.2 per 100,000 by August 11 – an increase of 11.6.

According to Greater London Authority data, Hounslow saw the biggest rise in cumulative cases than any other authority in the first 12 days of August where data is available.

In a statement on August 15, Ms O’Neill said: “Last night we received data from Public Health England which showed cases of coronavirus continue to increase in the borough, with a large rise in numbers over the past two days. Cases are concentrated in Heston, Hounslow Central/West, Cranford and Chiswick, but also recorded in other areas.

“The spread of cases suggests it’s due to wider family and friend groups meeting and not maintaining social distancing.”

She added: “If we do not reduce this contact cases will keep rising, more lives will be put in danger and we risk a local lockdown in the borough…

“We should not forget how awful the situation was for many of our residents earlier this year. More than 230 people lost their lives and thousands of others became seriously ill, with many still feeling the impact today. Coronavirus is still lethal. Lives are still at risk.

“We need everyone to keep their distance from people who do not live in their home. Stay 2 metres away from them at all times where possible.

“Please, do your bit to help reduce the spread and keep your family and friends safe.”

The director stressed residents can spread coronavirus without showing symptoms themselves and urged them not to put others at risk.

Government advice continues to ask people to wash their hands regularly, wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets, on public transport and in other indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.

If residents display symptoms of the virus, such as a high temperature, new, continuous cough or a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste they should get a free test.

In Hounslow there are various options to get tested for the virus such as a mobile testing site, with walk-in and drive-through appointments available.

The next appointments are available on Thursday, August 20, and Sunday, August 23, at the private car park on Hanworth Road, TW3 3TY.

Other testing sites nearby include Twickenham Stadium and Heathrow, and residents can also request a home testing kit.

Residents must self-isolate for 10 days if you have symptoms of Covid-19, and also if you receive a positive test result. Members of the household must self-isolate for 14 days.

For more information to get a test locally, click here.

Anahita Hossein-Pour - Local Democracy Reporter

August 17, 2020

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