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As cases rise, let's continue to keep Harrow safe: A Covid update from Harrow's Leader and Director of Public Health

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Harrow and London at an alarming rate and additional restrictions are highly likely in the next few days.

Across the country, there are more people in hospital now than when we went into lockdown in March and clearly, we all have to do our bit to protect the NHS and save lives.

We are seeing cases in all ages, with the largest increase among 16- to 29-year-olds. The infection is mainly being transmitted in people’s homes and so I urge everyone to continue to follow the rule of six and the hands, face, space mantra – wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering and make space to control the spread and reduce infection rates.

Importantly, our first walk-through Covid testing centre in the borough is now open. It is a vital part of our efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

This facility in South Harrow is the first of a number we are planning with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

It will see up to 300 people a day and means shorter waits for tests and a boost to testing capacity in the heart of our community. This is good news as Harrow residents who can’t use the drive-through centres won’t face that extra hurdle in getting tested.

We must make sure absolutely everyone with any one the symptoms – a new, continuous cough, high temperature or a change/loss in taste or smell – gets tested quickly.

We’ve had regular drive-through mobile units at the Civic Centre and nearby Northwick Park Hospital, but that’s no good to people unable to drive.

Now those people can walk to the South Harrow testing centre, any day of the week, from 8am to 8pm.

Testing is central to our collective efforts to control the virus, but we each have to remember to do our bit to help stop the spread.

If you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace please do so – the law changed recently making it illegal for someone not to self-isolate when instructed to do so. If you are on a low income or self-employed and cannot work from home so will lose money while self-isolating you may be eligible for a new £500 self-isolation test and trace payment.

It is only available to people who have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and on certain benefits.

Controlling the virus is so important to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities – thank you for doing your bit to help keep Harrow safe.

Cllr Graham Henson, Leader of Harrow Council and Carole Furlong, Director of Harrow Public Health.

Published: 14th October 2020