Wiltshire's Covid-19 'Pillar 2' testing rates revealed

Wiltshire's Covid-19 'Pillar 2' testing rates revealed

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 1:15pm 2nd July 2020.

3 minute read

The Council's confirmed how many additional cases of coronavirus there have been, based on a new set of data from Public Health England.

The figures have been released following concerns that we weren't getting a full picture of the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Here's the updated breakdown for Wiltshire (up to 26th June 2020): 

  • Pillar 1 tests carried out (within hospitals and by the NHS) - 550 cases
  • Pillar 2 tests (by commercial providers like home testing kits and drive through centres) - 584 cases
  • Total number of cases across Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 - 1,134 cases

In the last two weeks, Pillar 1 case numbers have risen from one to four cases, while Pillar 2 case number have risen from seven to nine.

Covid-19 Regional Testing Centre Beehive Park and Ride Salisbury May 2020
The Beehive park and ride has become a Covid-19 regional testing centre

Kate Blackburn, Interim Director of Public Health at Wiltshire Council, said:  

"With Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 data Wiltshire currently has an infection rate of 226.8 per 100,000 people. To put this into context, the rate across England is 425.8.

"I can reassure residents and businesses in Wiltshire that COVID-19 cases currently remain extremely low and a local lockdown is certainly not necessary. On a daily basis we review a number of different reports and data with our Public Health England colleagues. Should there be any issues there are alert systems in place.

"The most important thing we can do as a community at the moment is to stick to the national guidance around social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene.

"I would like to thank you for your continued support at this time."

The figures follows concerns earlier this week that Wiltshire was at risk of having a localised lockdown enforced, due to a high percentage increase in Covid-19 cases. 

There's been reassurance that that's not the case. 

Professor Debra Lapthorne, Regional Director Public Health England South West & Regional Director of Public Health NHS England South West, said: 

"The number of new cases of coronavirus is under close, active surveillance across the country and small fluctuations day by day are to be expected. The increase in cases in some areas are mainly sporadic and are being uncovered as we scale up testing and contact tracing activity across the region. Importantly, the overall levels of coronavirus in the South West remain some of the lowest in the country. We're working closely with all local authorities to prepare for and manage any potential local clusters and outbreaks and our epidemiological analysis will play an important role identifying if there is a significant sustained increase in the community.

"As we carefully emerge from lockdown, it is important now more than ever, that everyone in the South West continues to follow government advice on social distancing, self-isolation, wearing face coverings, and practicing good hand hygiene, in order to keep the number of new cases in the region on its way down. If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change to your sense of smell or taste, stay at home and arrange a test immediately."

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