Summit for Peterborough - city must stay vigilant

Peterborough is now off the coronavirus watch list – but people must stay vigilant.
woman smiling at camera

A Summit for Peterborough was held on Friday looking at how the city can come together to continue to keep the virus in check.

Peterborough had been on the Government's Covid-19 watchlist as an area of concern but infection numbers have reduced. However, the virus is still out there and things could change - especially as national rates are rising.

From this week, local people will be seeing more police and council staff on the streets giving advice, marshalling the public – and enforcing social distancing rules if necessary.

No excuse not to self-isolate

Adrian Chapman, Peterborough City Council’s Director of Communities and Partnerships said there would be no excuse for anyone in the city not to self isolate if they have a positive test result.

Some people on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result will now be supported by a new £500 Test and Trace support payment.

The payment scheme is being set up by local authorities and is expected to be in place from 12 October. Anyone starting to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments, if they are eligible. 

Other people in the city who have had a positive test but are not eligible for the payment, can still get help for things such as shopping or looking after pets.

New walk-in testing centre

Last month, a national decision to close mobile testing centres to walk-ins caused a sudden fall in case rates because people were finding it difficult to get a test.

However, a dedicated walk-in test centre in the Gladstone area is planned and is expected to be up and running by mid-October. 

A hotline to the support hub will help people who do not have English as a first language, or the right literacy or digital skills, to book a test and understand what to do if the result is positive.

Critical point in fight against virus

The meeting heard that local coronavirus data was monitored daily by a surveillance group to help keep numbers in check.

Dr Liz Robin - pictured above - Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said:

“We are at a critical point in terms of our fight against the virus.  We have seen many areas similar to Peterborough have a rapid and sudden  increase in cases.  We are in a position where it could escalate here.”

However, she said the combined and concerted effort across the city by all sectors of the community had helped to protect the population and reduce cases.

“Many people in the community are feeling tired. But we must keep up the energy and the commitment to keeping our population safe and healthy.

“By doing that and keeping rates down, we keep our economy open and people can stay in jobs and we can keep our children in education,” she said.

Peterborough’s community and faith leaders, health services and voluntary groups and police and council had all worked together and she said that was how the city would continue to reduce the spread of coronavirus in communities and keep them safe.

She said people were tired of the same old messages about social distancing, washing hands, wearing face covering, and getting a test and self-isolating.

But these messages made a vital difference in the fight against the virus. And the city council would continue to adapt and improve them to keep them clear, fresh and supported by local people across Peterborough.

Information about coronavirus and testing

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