There is evidence of spread in the community and local care homes and the virus has also affected local schools.
Residents are being notified via local media, social media, local community organisations, schools and leaflets in local shops. The mobile testing centre will be in place at:
- Bannockburn High School on Sat 14th and Sun 15th November
- Bannockburn Community Centre on Mon 16th and Tues 17th November
- Balfour Community Centre, Plean on Wed 18th, Thurs 19th & Fri 20th November
- Cowie Primary School Car Park on Sat 21st and Sun 22nd November
Anyone who lives or works in the above areas can arrange to get tested, whether they have symptoms or not, via the Covid-19 testing section of the GOV.UK website or by calling 0800 028 2816 or 0300 303 2713.
Anyone booking online who does not have any symptoms should select the option ‘My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms’ when asked why they are requesting a test.
Appointments will only be released at 6pm each evening for the following morning and in the morning for appointments that afternoon.
People are asked not to turn up at the test centre without booking an appointment in advance to help avoid overcrowding and keep people safe. Anyone attending should also wear a face mask or covering and observe the rules on physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres apart (6ft).
NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Public Health, Dr Henry Prempeh, said: “This is a precautionary measure but one which we feel is essential due to Bannockburn and these surrounding areas being such close-knit communities. I would encourage local people to book a test even if they currently feel well as there is evidence that some people can have Covid-19 without displaying any of the common symptoms.”
The decision to move a mobile testing centre into the area has been taken after NHS Forth Valley and Stirling Council joined forces to urge the people of Stirling to do their part to stop the spread of Covid-19 following a recent increase in positive cases. The council area currently has the highest rates of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the Forth Valley area with 165 compared to 79 for Clackmannanshire Council and 71 for Falkirk Council.
Stirling cases have risenNHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster, said the number of Covid-19 cases in the Stirling area has not fallen as expected, despite level 3 restrictions being in place.
He explained: “We know that the level 3 measures set out in the National Framework have been very effective in some areas and are disappointed that rates in Stirling have been slow to come down and in fact have risen sharply in the last few weeks. This is partly due to an increase in cases in care homes however we need everyone to pull together and carefully follow the guidance if we are to limit the spread of this virus.”
Council Leader - "protect each other"Stirling Council Leader Scott Farmer added: “Stirling has unfortunately gone from Forth Valley’s area of lowest concern to its highest in a matter of a few weeks. The virus is entering our schools, care homes and communities. People are still losing their lives, their loved ones and their jobs.
“Our fear is that a lack of compliance with the national guidance is allowing the virus to take hold again, so we owe it to each other to take a step back and ask ourselves – are we really doing all we can as individuals, families and communities to stop the spread?
“The restrictions we are currently under are incredibly difficult for us all, but they serve to protect us, and if they’re ignored then the ripple effect can spread far beyond our own households.
“We’re at a crucial point in our battle to contain this lethal virus and I’m pleading with the people of Stirling – prove our community spirit to the rest of Scotland and let’s take responsibility for protecting each other.”
With more people being admitted to hospital, including a number of seriously ill people who require intensive care, Dr Graham Foster highlighted the steps local people should follow to help protect themselves and others:
- Stay two metres apart from other people – wearing a face mask does not protect you from Covid-19 so you still need to keep your distance
- Improve ventilation - most cases are transmitted indoors in small spaces so open your windows at work and at home where you can
- Work from home if you possibly can
- Do not go into anyone else’s household – even for a short period of time
- Do not share a car with anyone outside your household
- Do not travel to another local council area – even if it is covered by same Covid-19 protection levels
- If you are asked to self-isolate because you have had a positive test result or have been identified as a close contact of someone who is positive please do it properly and do not leave the house until the date you have been told
- If you have taken a Covid-19 test because you have symptoms you must stay at home until you get the result
Anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 should self-isolate immediately along with members of their household and book a test as soon as possible. This can be done online or by calling 0800 028 2816.
The symptoms of Covid-19 are any of the following:
- A high temperature or fever
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste
Further information on Covid-19 is available on the NHS Inform website: www.nhsinform.scot