Test site opens as Covid-19 deaths rise
A MOBILE Covid-19 testing station is operating in Mangotsfield.
Cleve Rugby Football Club's Hayfields ground in Cossham Street is one of two drive-through sites in South Gloucestershire which opened in mid-November.
The number of new coronavirus cases recorded in the area was falling as the Voice went to print. But they remained above the national average, and the number of people who have died with the virus has started to rise again.
Mobile testing units like the one in Mangotsfield are set up on a short-term basis and can be moved at a week's notice.
Tests are available by appointment only, to people who have symptoms or have been advised to take one, and can be booked by calling 119.
The district's first testing centre at UWE's Frenchay Campus has been reclassified as a local testing site and will now offer only walk-up tests.
The overall number of cases in South Gloucestershire in the week to December 1 was 432, giving the district a case rate of 151.5 per 100,000, compared with the England average of 149.5. That was down from 871 cases four weeks earlier, when the rolling case rate topped 300.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that Downend South – an area around the high street, Salisbury Road, Downend Road and Overndale Road – had the highest number of new infections in South Gloucestershire during the week to December 1 with 29, equivalent to 436.8 per 100,000 people. In Downend North, which covers the Bromley Heath area, there were 9 cases, the same number as Mangotsfield.
Staple Hill North had 6 cases over the same period, while the ONS Staple Hill South & Kingswood North West area had 19. Frenchay & Great Stoke, which includes UWE, had 28, while Pucklechurch & Westerleigh had 24.
Since the start of the pandemic there have been 6,506 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Gloucestershire, giving the area, which is currently in Tier 3 of the government's restrictions, a below average case rate of 2,282 per 100,000 of around one in every 44 people.
The number of people in the district who have died with Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic has now reached 197, after 26 deaths were recorded in the five weeks to November 20, ten of them in the most recent of those weeks.
That followed a seven-week period in which no deaths involving the virus were recorded among South Gloucestershire residents.