Covid updates in Solihull – Cases remain low but we need to be vigilant
The new Indian B1.167.2 variant has seen local cases in Solihull and across the West Midlands. Some of these cases have a recent history of travel, but others have spread within the UK. In general Solihull’s numbers for covid cases are low with 12 cases per 100,000 (as of 19th May 2021) and the the actual number of new variant cases is five (as of 20th May 2021). However, we still have to be mindful of the impact variants may have on the roadmap out of lockdown.
There’s no indication that the vaccine is not effective against the new variant, but to make sure people are fully protected the vaccination programme is being turbo-charged, so that anyone who is over the age of 50 gets their second dose within 8 weeks rather than 12 weeks.
It is important to get vaccinated as soon as you are offered it. The more people who are vaccinated, the less the virus can spread. Getting vaccinated isn’t just about making you safer, it’s about protecting your family, friends and wider community and doing something for everyone else that also benefits you. Make sure you have both doses and encourage friends and family to get vaccinated too. Find out more here: www.birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk
If you have symptoms, book a PCR test via the national booking system, and self-isolate immediately. If you are positive, these tests will also rapidly identify if it’s a new variant strain. This helps us to quickly tackle the spread of any new variants to keep them under control. Self-isolate if you have COVID or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive. You may also be offered a PCR test if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
There is also regular asymptomatic testing available to help find people who don’t know they are positive. Make taking a test a part of your routine. You can order tests online here and they will be delivered for free to your home or you can pick them up from participating local pharmacies.
There is also still lots of help available including financial, practical and emotional support to help anyone self-isolate with their household for the full ten days, keeping you, your family and your community safe.