Councillors and government officials have issued last-call warnings to residents of Oldham that the borough may be facing full lockdown restrictions “within days” after a spike in cases.
Residents in Oldham are being urged to “work with” the council and “follow the guidance” to help prevent the borough from having to enter into a Leicester-style local lockdown.
These warnings come after confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have almost doubled in Oldham over the past week.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Oldham Council, the latest figures – released yesterday for the week ending August 8 – show that there have been 255 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oldham, which is a rate of 107.5 cases per 100,000 people.
The week prior to this there were 137 cases, which is a rate of 57.8 per 100,000.
A statement to residents on the Oldham Council website reads: “To help halt the spread of coronavirus, save lives and prevent a local lockdown, we need all Oldham residents and businesses to follow our new guidance.”
“You need to act now.”
“If everyone makes these small changes we can avoid a second lockdown, but there is no time to lose. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to limit those who you have contact with – spend time with those in your household and work from home where possible, but do not have visitors to your home or garden.”
“If you must meet people from outside your household, do so in an outdoor location, maintain social distancing and avoid physical contact [and] when visiting shops, on public transport or in other enclosed or crowded spaces, you should wear a mask.”
This latest data comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock made the announcement on the evening of Thursday 30th July that people in certain areas of Northern England – crucially including all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester – would no long be permitted to congregate privately with others outside their household or support bubble due to a rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across these regions.
Legislation to legally enforce these new restrictions was published by the government five days after the announcement and came into force on Wednesday 5th August.
Katrina Stephens – Director of Public Health for Oldham Council – said officials were discussing with central government the possibility of closing bars, restaurants and gyms in the borough following a “sudden increase” in the infection rate.
She said: “This isn’t just about Oldham making a decision on its own, this is a conversation between us, colleagues in Greater Manchester but importantly with national government as well because a lot of the measures that a full lockdown would relate to need to be instigated by national government.”
“It’s a two way conversation and because we’re acting on this early we’re in a position to have that.”
“A local lockdown still isn’t inevitable, actually if people can work with us and follow that guidance then there is still that opportunity to turn round the tide of rising infections.”
Councillor Arooj Shah – Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for COVID-19 recovery – added: “We know people in Oldham have, on the whole, been behaving responsibly and abiding by the coronavirus restrictions, but coronavirus has not gone away and rates are now rising.”
“To avoid a second lockdown, there is no time to lose.”
“We need everyone to act now and make changes to the way they live, to prevent strict lockdown restrictions being implemented in the coming days or weeks. Figures are showing us that cases are rising here in Oldham in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities.”
“We are all at risk of this terrible virus and it is our responsibility to protect ourselves, our friends and wider society by obeying this tougher guidance and acting responsibly.”
You can find more information about the local restrictions via the Oldham Council website here, and the latest infection rates across Greater Manchester can be found in full here.
For further information and guidance amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, do refer to official sources via gov.uk/coronavirus.
Herd of Santas descend on Manchester healthcare clinic for pre-Christmas ‘elf check’
A gaggle of Santas have been spotted visiting Pall Mall Medical healthcare clinic in Manchester city centre, getting their ‘elf checks’ in before Christmas.
The group were also joined by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones, who has issued a stark health warning ahead of the festive season – especially for Father Christmas who doesn’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle.
So scores of Saint Nicks gathered in Manchester today for an exclusive appointment with Dr Hilary ahead of their 41 million mile journey on Christmas Eve.
The private healthcare clinic on King Street, right in the heart of Manchester, will be offering health screens for everyone, with 20% off in December.
Today’s event at Pall Mall Medical was demonstrating the seasonal once-overs offered there with its ‘Santa Stop Here – Free Elf Check’.
It’s estimated that in one day, Santa Clause eats 2.3 billion mince pies and guzzles 138,389,578 litres of sherry – the same as 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 181 million times the recommended weekly intake.
Concerned Dr Hilary, who is Pall Mall’s ambassador for health screens, said these eye-popping statistics justify Father C is in dire need of an elf MOT.
The health checks can detect ailments from prostate cancer to heart issues.
Dr Hilary said: “When you digest the figures, it’s a miracle Santa is still going strong.
“A lifestyle like his could lead to chronic fatigue at best – diabetes or heart disease at worst.
“We all love a mince pie or three during the festive season, but without sounding too much like a nutcracker he is going way Ho Ho Ho-verboard!
“Of course, Christmas is a time to indulge, but it is still smart to limit food and drink on the naughty list.
“Hopefully, Santa will take note and adopt an elfier lifestyle this year, so he doesn’t become a ghost of Christmas future next year!”
Watch more on Pall Mall Medical here:
Dr Chun Tang Medical Director of Pall Mall, who conducted the Santas private health screens added: “There is nothing more important than health and prevention is better than cure. A private health screen can detect issues before they become a serious medical concern.”
Throughout December Pall Mall Medical is gifting people a discount on private health screens to mark the festive period.
Simply quote ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at the reception desk and receive 20% off a Well Woman or Well Man health screens throughout December, and quote WINTER10 for 10% off GP appointments.
Manchester gaming bar NQ64 claps back at one-star review harassing its staff
A popular gaming bar in Manchester has clapped back at a one-star review that attacked a staff memberby calling them a ‘progressive student gimp’ for wearing a crop top.
NQ64, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter, and a second on Peter Street – hit out at the rude reviewer this weekend in an act of bartender solidarity. The bar shared the insulting review, left by username Corbin A, to its Instagram page on Sunday alongside a sunny picture of its bar team: all wearing crop tops and grinning sassily into the camera.
The caption on its response post, which has already been liked over 2,200 times, read: “This one’s for you, Corbs – stay progressive x” with a peace sign emoji.
The full one-star review from the unimpressed Corbin A, who has left three reviews on the platform in total, read: “Half your time in there is spent stood waiting to go on games, the other half is watching some progressive student gimp in a crop top take 10 minutes to pour you one drink while he tries to act like a bartender making random throwing movements with glasses and bottles.”
Commenting underneath, followers chimed in thick and fast with their support for the bar and its staff, with one writing: “Please start selling crop tops that say ‘Progressive Student Gimp.'”
Another person said: “Bar staff solidarity! You love to see it ❤️ still the best bar(s) in Manchester.”
A third wrote: “f*ck yeah. This is why I love you guys!!”
A fourth added: “That review should surely be 5 stars! I mean this is a bloody good reason to go, no?!”
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.