THERE has been a "rapid rise" in Covid-19 cases in Sandwell - leading to an urgent alert for people to be on their guard.

Sandwell Council put out an alert on Saturday (July 18) night to people across the borough to stringently adhere to all Covid-19 prevention guidance after the rise.

Data sent to the council showed another 20 positive cases across Sandwell - 11 of them in Smethwick.

Director of Public Health Dr Lisa McNally said: “The risk of infection in Sandwell, and especially Smethwick, is clearly increasing rapidly.

“Smethwick has now seen 35 cases in just over a week – that is more than 10 times the rate we were seeing only a few weeks ago and people really do need to take this very seriously.

“I would urge everyone to redouble their efforts to follow safety guidance, do not think the virus has gone – it most certainly has not.

"Talk to family, friends and colleagues and make sure they understand how critical this is.”

The council said its public health experts are working round the clock with people in the area, businesses and community venues to make sure safety guidelines are followed.

Dr McNally said: “A pattern is emerging showing the infection affecting higher numbers of people in a small number of properties, two, three and four people sometimes in one household – often in multi-generational households - rather than lots of single cases across a lot of households.

“I know it isn’t easy but it’s very important that if someone is infected, they isolate themselves from the rest of their household as much as they possibly can, especially from elderly people.

“This rise in cases reminds us that the virus hasn’t gone away.  

"We can’t afford to drop our guard. If we experience symptoms then we must self-isolate at home and get tested. 

"Anyone in the same household also needs to self-isolate.  Doing this saves lives.”

“We can protect ourselves and those we live with by keeping at least 1 metre apart from others. 

"Wearing a face covering when on public transport or when shopping also reduces the spread of the virus.

“We are not at a point where we are looking at a ‘lockdown’ situation like in Leicester. 

"But we will keep monitoring the situation carefully and we really need everyone to follow the guidance.”

Sandwell Council Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “We are working very hard, using our local knowledge, and getting in touch with local venues to remind them to be vigilant.

“But we need everyone’s help, so please follow the advice from our public health experts.

“Anyone needing urgent medical help should always contact 999 or NHS 111.”

The advice is:

Do not wait

Book a free and easy test as soon as you think you may have symptoms, such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Dr McNally said it is vitally important that people stringently follow COVID-19 advice.

This includes: Stay home and self-isolate if you have a cough, high temperature or change in sense of taste or smell.

If you have symptoms people in your household should also self-isolate at home

Do whatever is possible to isolate symptomatic people in the household from non-symptomatic people

Even if you do not have symptoms, people should stay home as much as possible, and certainly avoid any crowds.

If you have to go out, maintain a distance of at least 1 metre (preferably 2 metres) from other people and wear a face covering.

Managers of shops, businesses, faith settings and any other place where people gather should stringently adhere to all Covid-19 prevention guidance.

Managers of businesses or community settings can get advice on preventing Covid-19 by emailing

Visit for more information.

You can book a test via or call 119.