I am writing to update you on the council's current coronavirus response, and to let you know how you can play your role in helping prevent further lockdown restrictions in Salford. We all need to work together to prevent the spread of the virus - keeping social spaces, businesses, schools and workplaces open.
As you will probably know, there has been an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases across the city from the end of August. In Salford we are taking a proactive approach to test and trace, monitoring the spread of the virus to contain it and protect vulnerable people - but despite our efforts, cases are rising sharply especially affecting older people and those with a pre-existing health condition. There are simple steps everyone can take to protect each other:
We know that self-isolating can be difficult for many people, particularly for those who live alone or on a low income. Please contact our Spirit of Salford Helpline on 0800 952 1000 if you need support. Please stay at home even if you need help – we have volunteers who will help. We can advise on financial and welfare support if taking time off will affect your income or you are concerned about your job or housing situation.
Social gatherings of more than six people are now illegal across the country. The new restrictions won’t apply to schools, workplaces, weddings, funerals and organised team sports as long as COVID-secure guidance is followed. The council website keeps information up-to-date so to check the national and local restrictions in Salford see www.salford.gov.uk
I am calling for local people to show the Spirit of Salford in protecting each other – following all the basic advice, abiding by the Greater Manchester restrictions and we would go further and encourage you to:
The council will also monitor businesses:
Salford is also taking a lead on the longer term approach to containing the virus in the city by introducing community testing. I firmly believe that community testing is the best way to protect people and communities, to locate and stop the spread of the virus as soon as possible until a successful vaccine or treatment is found.
This saliva-based test is aimed at people without symptoms. By providing saliva into a container, the sample will then be sent for a simple laboratory process known as a LAMP test. We are arranging to run this test in Salford, starting small to ensure we are getting the results back in a timely manner, within 48 hours. Over the coming weeks, we will start to offer community testing in local areas. This will be built up to cover the whole city.
This community testing will help support work to stop the spread of the virus, by identifying positive cases early. This will mean people can rapidly follow advice to stay at home if they test positive, and if the test is negative, they can continue to go about their daily life with the usual COVID-19 precautions. People with symptoms that may be coronavirus will still need to access the throat and nose swab from the existing national testing system and sites.
Please do everything you can to keep your family, friends, colleagues and the wider community safe, let us all show the Spirit of Salford.
City Mayor of Salford
Councillor Gina Reynolds
Lead Member for Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing
Dr Muna Abdel Aziz
Director of Public Health