Young people in Wolverhampton are being urged to stay vigilant during the pandemic, despite a slight drop in the number of new cases across the West Midlands.
Leaders of the seven local councils met to discuss the regional picture this week and they highlighted an increase in cases among young people, with more than one in five cases across the region over the last fortnight coming in the 20-29 age group.
Stressing the need for continued vigilance to reduce the threat of further Covid-19 lockdowns, Councillor Ian Brookfield, the Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "As we're seeing across the country, there's been an increase in coronavirus cases among 20 to 30-year-olds in Wolverhampton and the West Midlands and they now account for just over 20% of all the new cases. We have also seen an increase in cases among older teenagers.
It's important to stress that young people are not immune to this awful virus and sadly we've seen in other countries that rising cases among young people can be the thing that brings the virus into the homes of older and more vulnerable adults. We've seen that peaks in young people are often followed several weeks later by rises in hospitalisation and deaths.
People are being urged to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth in enclosed spaces, as well as maintaining social distancing from people from other households, both indoors and outside. Hand washing is vital and local authorities are urging anyone who feels unwell to get a free test.
Councillor Brookfield added: "We hear a lot about the 'new norm' and face coverings are an absolutely vital part of the new norm if we're going to keep people safe. Unless you have a legitimate reason not to, you must wear a face covering to protect others from the spread of infection.
"And you shouldn't need to be asked or reminded by shop staff, bus drivers or anyone else. This is about each and every one of us playing our part to protect the people of Wolverhampton and the West Midlands."
Symptoms of Covid-19 include
a new, continuous cough
loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell.
People with symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.