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Redbridge Covid infection rate quadruples as plans revealed for a testing centre in Woodford Green

PUBLISHED: 16:08 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:08 02 October 2020

Director of public health Gladys Xavier said numbers are likely to go up as testing capacity increases. Picture: PA/Wire

Director of public health Gladys Xavier said numbers are likely to go up as testing capacity increases. Picture: PA/Wire

PA/Wire

The coronavirus infection rate in Redbridge is 69.8 per 100,000 after quadrupling in the course of one month.

What a map of testing centres in Redbridge would look like if the third site opens. Picture: Google MapsWhat a map of testing centres in Redbridge would look like if the third site opens. Picture: Google Maps

Redbridge’s director of public health, Gladys Xavier, told a health scrutiny committee on Thursday, October 1 the council had taken “quite a lot of actions to bring numbers down”.

She added that according to experts, all other London boroughs will be in the same position as Redbridge “pretty soon”.

A London-wide Covid response plan published by other London councils states boroughs should consider lockdown once the rate is higher than 50 per 100,000.

Ms Xavier told the committee: “We have got cases all over the borough. Some wards more, some have less but generally the whole borough is affected.

“In London, we are not in that place yet (to have to lock down) but slowly our numbers are going up. Four weeks ago our rates went from 20 to 30 per 100,000.

In the last seven days, she said, 146 new Redbridge residents had tested positive for the virus, meaning the borough had seen just under 2,000 confirmed cases in total.

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She added that the rate of confirmed cases was expected to go up even further as testing capacity increased in the borough.

The council has posted leaflets to advise on minimising the spread of the virus to every household in four badly affected wards.

The infection rate was revealed on the day the borough’s second permanent testing centre opened in Gants Hill Library car park. The meeting was told the council is hoping to open a third testing centre next to Woodford Green station.

Cllr Suzanne Nolan (Con, South Woodford) said a venue had been identified in Charteris Road.

She pointed out that the west of the borough has a lot of care homes.

Ms Xavier told the committee she has asked Deloittes, a private contractor delivering testing centres, to “come and do a survey” of the site.

She added: “It looks promising. There are issues but we will work through that.”

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “Last month, we saw Redbridge residents being turned away from testing centres because the government was not adequately prepared. That can never happen again.”


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