Warning for Walsall residents as COVID-19 case rates sharply rise

The rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, has resulted in the highest infection rates that Walsall has seen at any time during the pandemic.

Between 26 December 2021 and 1 January 2022, 5,041 residents had a confirmed positive test result. The rate of positive cases has doubled in just seven days across the borough. 

Data shows you are up to 8 times more likely to end up in hospital as a result of COVID-19 if you are unvaccinated.

Stephen Gunther, Director of Public Health said:

“We are beginning to experience what London did at the beginning of last month, a sharp rise of positive cases in the borough. Our current rates are roughly double any time previously, this is a real concern.

“The Omicron variant spreads quickly, and many more people are now being infected, this means we are starting to see a higher number of people needing hospital care. This is putting even more strain on an already stretched health and social care system.

“This is why it still makes sense for people to do all they can to protect themselves and slow down the spread.

“The main advice for now is take the usual infection control measures – face coverings, social distancing, good hand hygiene and fresh air. If you feel unwell, please stay at home and book a PCR test as soon as you can. You can book this online or by calling 119. 

“Get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible, manage down your social contacts to reduce your risks of having to self-isolate and please continue to use a lateral flow test regularly.”

Councillor Stephen Craddock, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing said:

“The next couple of months are going to be difficult for us all. One of the most important things we can do is get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.
“Unfortunately there are still around fifty thousand Walsall residents who have not yet had the first dose of the vaccination.

“Vaccines are vital, they save lives and prevent serious illness. Although more infectious than other variants, Omicron has been shown to cause less serious disease in those people who are double vaccinated and received their booster.

“Being ill from Covid-19 will disrupt your life and work for at least seven days, or longer depending on the severity. The impact is much greater if you are not fully vaccinated, the worst-case scenario may be hospitalisation, intensive care or dying due to the virus.

“It is important we all do everything we can to stay safe and well and prepared for the unpredictability of the next few weeks due to COVID-19, this includes getting vaccinated.”

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