Published: Saturday, 8th May 2021

Bolton Council and its partners have announced a phased response plan to rising Covid rates.

More testing sites, a renewed push for vaccine take up and door-to-door community engagement will be rolled-out in parts of the borough from this weekend.

Yesterday, the government confirmed a surge testing programme in Rumworth, Deane and Great Lever after Covid variants of concern were identified in the areas.

More measures are now being stepped up as Bolton’s local infection rate has risen substantially, a stark reminder that the pandemic is far from over.

Everyone living in these parts of Bolton is asked to attend a Mobile testing unit (MTU) for a PCR test – this will help identify asymptomatic people who may be spreading the virus without realising.

Mobile testing units are already operating at Memory Lane Wedding Venue and Makkah Mosque with home PCR test kits available for pick up and return at Deane Road Temple.

Additional measures will be introduced in the coming days as Bolton Council and its partners focus on bringing the virus under control.

  • More MTUs will be opened
  • A renewed vaccine pushed targeted at those living in the affected areas who are eligible to be vaccinated
  • Door-to-door engagement with the community to encourage take-up of surge testing and vaccination
  • Leaflet drops at every household within the areas
  • Working with voluntary organisations and community leaders to engage with different communities
  • Translated materials and interpretation services so that members of our community are aware of the messages
  • A social media campaign led by our local communities to encourage uptake of PCR testing and vaccination

Anyone who has Covid symptoms should book a test as normal using the online portal and isolate immediately.

England remains at Step 2 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown meaning people should not meet indoors with anyone outside their household or bubble.

Bolton Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Lowey, said:

“There is no evidence these variants cause more severe illness, there is some evidence that the Indian variant spreads more easily than other Covid-19 variants so it is the one that we want to stop and contain.

“We are working closely with our partners across the community to identify people who have the virus, to increase the numbers of our eligible residents having the vaccine and to remind us all that Covid has not gone away.

“These measures are designed to bring the virus under control, but there are basic things we can all do to stop Covid spreading.

“Wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, maintain social distancing, keep areas well ventilated and take up the vaccine when it is offered.”

Dr Helen Wall, Senior Responsible Officer of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Bolton, said:

“It is proven that vaccination has a significant impact on the spread and severity of the virus, so we will be taking steps to provide additional capacity in these areas.

“We have a good track record of vaccination and a high level of confidence in the programme already in Bolton and we aim to build on that with some targeted vaccination work to try and nip this in the bud to protect everyone in Bolton.

“We are so close to getting things back to normal; let’s keep up the momentum and stop this virus from spreading further.”