TOWN hall and health bosses are appealing to Oldham residents to stick to tough restrictions after government figures

revealed the town's Covid-19 infection rate soared to to make the borough the third worst in the UK.

Coronavirus cases in the town have jumped from 11 per 100,000 people to 48.4, with 114 new cases recorded.

The town is behind Blackburn and Darwen, where the rate has fallen from 83.9 in the seven days from July 17 to 75 in the seven days to July 24, with 112 new cases.

Second on the list is Leicester, where the rate is continuing to fall and is now down from 82.5 to 61.9 with 220 new cases recorded.

Now, Oldham Council leaders are appealing to the local population to help halt the spread of the virus and save lives in order to avoid a local lockdown.

Related stories: People will not be moved out of crowded homes to self-isolate

Now Oldham overtakes Leicester and is second worst town for coronavirus

The guidance began on today (Tuesday, July 28) and continues for the next to weeks.

Residents are being asked not to have social visitors to their home, and to keep two metres apart from friends and family when seeing them outside. Those people who are “shielding” will also be asked to continue to shield for another two weeks from Friday, July 31.

This comes after the number of cases of coronavirus in the borough increased over the last week. Oldham has seen 119 cases in the seven days to July 25. By comparison the week ending July 17 saw just 26 positive cases. This means a current rate 50.2 positive tests per 100,000 versus 10.2 per 100,000 the week before.

Cllr Arooj Shah, deputy leader of oldham council and cabinet member for Covid-19 recovery, said: “We’re urging residents to continue to take the risk of coronavirus seriously and to stick to the guidelines.

“The best way to avoid infection is to limit contact with others as much as possible and to stay home wherever you can, including working from home Limit contact with other people and respect social distancing where you do go out; keeping at least two metres from those not in your household and avoid shaking hands or hugging.

“Where meeting outside you should meet in groups of no more than six people from different households. Gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles.

“You should be doing everything possible to avoid taking part in gatherings of more than 30 people. It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes, including gardens and other outdoor spaces, and for a range of other events, including weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups the Government advice is the same.

“Please also ensure you wear a mask where you cannot keep at least 2 metres from others, particularly in indoor public spaces when you are around people you do not usually meet. This includes, but is not limited to, shops and public transport.

“We know that people across Oldham desperately want to see their friends and family, and get back to normal. But these restrictions are essential if we are to stop the spread of Coronavirus and prevent a strict local lockdown being put in place, as we have seen elsewhere in the country.”

The restrictions mean that:

• To reduce spread between households, residents should not have social visitors to their homes, outside of those in their support bubble

• To help protect older and vulnerable people, care homes will not relax restrictions on care home visiting

• Those who are clinically vulnerable whose shielding should have come to an end from July 31 should extend shielding for a further two weeks from that date to August 14

Cllr Shah said significant proportion of recent cases involve multiple individuals testing positive within a household, showing that household spread is a real issue – especially in households with large families.

She continued: "While this increase in cases locally is worrying, it’s important to note that we are not yet seeing the numbers of cases that saw a local lockdown imposed elsewhere. What we are seeking to do is act early to avoid that possibility."

Katrina Stephens, director of public health for Oldham, said: “We know that effective testing is at the heart of tackling the spread of the virus. We therefore urging anyone who shows symptoms that may be coronavirus to book a test online.

“Where people test positive or have symptoms, or where people have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, they must ensure they follow the guidance on self isolation. If you have symptoms you should stay at home for seven days and book a test as soon as possible.

“If you test positive you should self-isolate for seven days. Members of your family and support bubble and others who you have been in contact with should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they access a test themselves and test negative. This is because it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.

“If we all do our bit and stick to the restrictions now, we can help stop the spread of Coronavirus, and protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

A helpline is available to support those self-isolating with access to food, medicine, financial support and loneliness. The helpline is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on 0161 770 7007.

To book a Coronavirus test go to or call NHS 119