Extra Covid marshals deployed as council urges people without symptoms to get tested
- Credit: LBBD
More Covid marshals have been employed across Barking and Dagenham, bringing the borough's total up to eight.
In the seven days to December 30, the area's coronavirus infection rate stood at 1,402.5 cases per 100,000 people - the highest of anywhere in England.
Since early November, the marshals have patrolled high footfall areas to help advise businesses and people about staying safe and keeping to the rules during the pandemic.
The council has confirmed it has employed eight marshals to work alongside its enforcement officers.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “It’s now more important than ever that we continue to follow the coronavirus guidelines.
"None of us want to be in lockdown, but the more people who follow the rules, the quicker we will be out of this awful situation.
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“We’re determined to continue to keep you safe and that’s why our Covid marshals are so important to ensure everyone understands what the rules are and what they should or shouldn’t be doing."
The marshals are responsible for monitoring the number of people visiting essential shops to ensure social distancing, making sure signs are visible and managing queues in public spaces.
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However, they do not have any enforcement powers so any concerns to the council's enforcement team or police.
The council is also urging people who are not necessarily displaying Covid symptoms to consider getting tested for the virus.
Councillor Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration, added: “As many as one in three people have the virus without symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it.
“We’re providing more testing facilities across the borough all the time and I urge residents to please take advantage of the service, whether they have symptoms or not, as it will help us to find positive cases more quickly, and break the chains of transmission.
“Covid numbers are rising and our NHS is at risk of being overwhelmed - the new variant of the virus is spreading rapidly and this week Barking and Dagenham has the highest rate of cases in the country."
You can see the full list of test sites in the borough at lbbd.gov.uk/get-a-coronavirus-test.