WINSFORD residents are being urged to let people with coronavirus symptoms get the tests they need.

Cheshire West saw its coronavirus infection rate rise by more than double from nine to 19.5 per 100,000 people between August 31 and September 7.

Across the country, many residents are facing difficulty booking a test in their local area due to limited capacity in laboratories.

Cheshire West and Chester Council says the opening of schools, testing of international travellers and increases in people without symptoms booking tests is putting added strain on the system.

Ian Ashworth, director of public health at CWAC, is now urging the community only to book a test if they have a new continuous cough, a loss of taste or smell, or a high fever.

“It is essential for people to get a test if they have symptoms or have been asked to do so by Test and Trace or healthcare professionals,” he said.

Winsford Guardian:

“Testing people with symptoms will help us stop the spread of the virus.

“The increase in people using testing sites in the last few weeks has, however, meant that laboratories need even greater capacity to cope with the demand and process people’s results.

“Many of the people now seeking tests do not have symptoms of Covid-19 and it is those people we are asking to wait a little longer while the capacity in laboratories is developed nationally.”

Key workers, frontline health and care staff and those in an outbreak area, will continue to be tested whether they have symptoms or not.

Meanwhile, residents are being urged to continue to follow the guidance on coronavirus, including the new ‘rule of six’ banning gatherings of more than six people from Monday, September 14.

Businesses are also being reminded of their role in keeping customers safe, and CWAC says that venues could be fined for failing to play their part.

Cllr Louise Gittins, CWAC leader, said: “The case numbers for our borough have more than doubled in a week and we are calling on everyone to continue to play their part and follow these new guidelines.

Winsford Guardian:

“It is important that everyone remembers this weekend and in the foreseeable future to continue to be Covid conscious, keep two metres apart, wear face coverings, wash hands and get tested if you have Covid symptoms.

“We would also like to appeal to those who may wish to make the most of the relaxed restrictions this weekend before the ruling comes in on Monday to be extra Covid conscious, the virus is present in our community and, according to our data, spreading.”

If you have coronavirus symptoms, book a test by calling 119 or visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus