Call for mass testing for the WHOLE of Corby after town records highest Covid rate in England

The request has come this evening from MP Tom Pursglove

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 9:34 pm
The borough already had a lateral flow testing centre open to keyworkers at Lodge Park Sports Centre

Corby’s MP says the government should roll out mass-testing for every Corby resident who wants to take part after the borough recorded the highest seven-day Covid rate in the country.

As of this evening (Thursday, February 4) the borough has been the worst in the whole country for the number of people who have recorded positive coronavirus tests in the past week.

The rate in Corby tonight is 497 per 100,000 people, although it has fallen from 548 last night.

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Earlier this evening Mr Pursglove released a statement saying he was calling for mass testing of the entire borough like similar set-ups in other high-risk areas including Liverpool.

In a pilot scheme in the north west city in November, everyone living or working there was offered a voluntary lateral flow test.

Cases there fell from 635 per 100,000 people in mid-October to 99 by mid-December.

He also called on businesses that have been the source of persistent outbreaks to close immediately.

Council leader Tom Beattie asked the government to consider closing non-essential firms in Corby last month - a request that was refused earlier this week.

Mr Pursglove said: “We are all troubled by the news that in Corby we continue to see stubbornly higher COVID-19 case rates, that are taking longer than elsewhere to decline...

“Clearly urgent steps to address it are evidently required. From the discussions I have had, I understand that this transmission continues to still be mostly household related.

“I am therefore calling for urgent consideration to be given to introducing mass population testing in Corby, as we have seen in other parts of the country when faced with stubborn, disproportionately high figures at earlier points in the pandemic.

“This would build on the new testing provision welcomely made available at Lodge Park Sports Centre a fortnight ago.

“And, whilst I recognise that so many employers locally have worked tirelessly to adhere to the ‘COVID Secure’ guidelines, if it turns out that certain businesses are a consistent source of spreading the virus, they must be closed immediately - no ifs, no buts. And with that in mind, if people can work from home, they must do so.

”I also cannot emphasise enough that there really is a duty on us all to minimise our contact with others when not absolutely essential, to wear face coverings in confined spaces and to stay very local if we do go out for exercise. Sticking to these requirements is the only way we are going to get this virus under control locally in the shortest possible time. If we don’t, this will agonisingly go on for longer, with higher day-to-day risks to the people we love - something none of us wish to see.

I have been in contact with the Northamptonshire Director of Public Health today and I understand there will be an operational meeting tomorrow morning to review the data and ensure a clear plan. I have asked to attend that meeting.

“I have also been in contact with the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care about my concerns and have highlighted in particular my request for urgent consideration to be given to further boosting testing capacity in Corby as a priority, and that everything is in place to ensure those who have to isolate are properly supported.

“At a time when the vaccination roll-out is going so well in Northamptonshire, offering a great deal of hope for the longer-term - and the public health team co-ordinating it locally are doing such an amazing job - it is very frustrating that we have these stubbornly higher rates of infection in Corby at the moment, that are taking longer than elsewhere to decline. Every possible effort must be made to bring them back under control immediately - with us all playing our part in that endeavour.”