Mansfield could face more strict measures unless action is taken within the community, warns the council’s chief exective.
Over the past 14 days there have been 67 new cases of coronavirus which are spread throughout the district.
Most of the infections traced are among white British people and affect all age groups, the council confirms, with between one and four cases in 24 of the 36 wards in Mansfield.
It is now warning residents it needs, “urgent action to suppress infections if the district wants to avoid spiralling towards extra measures and restrictions”.
A new mobile testing unit in Mansfield is expected to start offering tests from Monday, September 21 – the location is currently not known.
It comes as chief executive of Mansfield District Council, Hayley Barsby, explained community transmission was responsible for the rise in cases rather than small groups.
She also said the pressure was starting to be felt within hospitals and other health services.
Speaking after a Covid strategy meeting with council and health chiefs from across the county, she said: “It is clear now that infections are not confined to small family or employment groups. They are being spread generally in the community.
“We all have to take the threat this poses to our community seriously. This is real.
“Cases are not rising just because more tests are being carried out. Hospital admissions are now also starting to rise and extra pressure is being felt in primary care services.
“The council has no desire to see further restrictions or controls on people’s lives and businesses but unless we all work together to help reduce the number of cases, then Mansfield risks heading the same way as other parts of Britain that are already facing extra measures.”
“It’s Hands, Face, Space – Keep Mansfield Safe, all the way now,” Ms Barsby added.
“This is about respecting each other, not just doing what’s right for you personally. We all have to act together if our actions, efforts and, yes, sacrifices for some, are going to make a difference.
“We’re hoping people don’t let the side down in Mansfield because this district has been doing so well in keeping cases low up until now. This has changed so we all need to up our game.”
The district council’s ‘Hands, Face, Space – Keep Mansfield Safe’ campaign echos national guidelines encouraging people to wash their hands frequently, wear face coverings in shops and public spaces and to stick to the ‘Rule of Six for social distancing.
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Bookings for the Mansfield testing site can be made from 8pm on September 20 online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119.
People should ensure they have an appointment before they go to the unit and only book if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
The Mansfield unit is part of a rolling testing programme around the county planned by the NHS, the county council, Public Health England and other partners.
The council said it is also working with businesses to ensure they are doing all they can to keep customers safe.
Hospitality venues in England are, from today, (September 18) legally required to enforce the rule of six or face a fine of up to £4,000.
Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, are now also legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff.
They must retain these details for 21 days and provide them to NHS Test and Trace without delay when required.
From Thursday, September 24, they will also be required by law to display official NHS QR code posters in preparation for the NHS COVID-19 app being rolled out nationally next week.
In addition, venues have a duty to control numbers in their premises, reduce contact where possible, and have appropriate hygiene measures in place.
Anyone who is contacted by Test and Trace or who develops Covid symptoms – a new and continuous cough, a temperature or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste – should stay at home and book a test online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
The council is appealing to people who do not have symptoms and have not been contacted by Test and Trace to avoid asking for a test to ease the current pressure on the service.