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Bedford Borough Council Urges Residents to Remain Cautious

Following the Prime Minister’s briefing this week (Monday 10 May) some of the rules on what we can and can’t do will be changing from Monday 17 May.

With rates increasing rapidly in Bedford Borough, the Council is asking residents to exercise caution and common sense.

Bedford Borough Council has been notified of cases of a COVID-19 Variant of Concern (first identified in India). Working with Public Health England and the DHSC, the Council, as a precautionary measure, arranged additional testing of close contacts to be carried out. This additional testing will identify any further COVID-19 positive cases, ensure people know to self-isolate and help slow the spread.

The rise in cases in Bedford Borough is mostly among people aged under 40, with the highest increase among those aged 11-22. We would urge parents to be additionally cautious at the moment; please look out for symptoms and if you are in any doubt, please keep your child off school and arrange a PCR test as soon as possible.

Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Health Wellbeing said, “I understand this may cause concern, but I’d like to reassure residents that we continue to work closely with Public Health England to minimise the spread.

“The best way to help stop the spread of all variants is to continue to follow the guidance – Hands, Face, Space and if you’re meeting with friends or family stay outside where fresh air can disperse the virus.”

Vicky Head, Director of Public Health, added, “It’s really important that people get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible; anyone over 40 can now be vaccinated and there is good availability for appointments at the moment.

“Everyone in the Borough is also encouraged to take up the offer of twice weekly rapid testing so that we can stop the spread of the virus. People without symptoms can drop in to the rapid test centre at the Faraday Community Centre, off Elstow Road, Bedford.

“No appointment is needed and results come back in less than an hour. Home test kits can also be collected from the test centres, some pharmacies and libraries or ordered online.”

Vaccine appointments can be booked line through the national booking system: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ or by calling 119.

More details on testing is available on the council’s website www.bedford.gov.uk/covid-19-testing/