THE number of coronavirus cases at a locked-down caravan site in south Shropshire has risen to 21.

Shropshire Council said as of Sunday (July 26) 21 people at the site near Craven Arms had tested positive, up from three on Friday, and this number was expected to rise further.

Offers of testing to all residents at the site continue, as public health officials expect to see the number of positive cases rise in the coming days, before infection control measures and social distancing start to take effect.

All residents on the caravan site have been asked to self-isolate with members of their households for 14 days following contact with a positive case.

This means that residents of the site are asked to remain in their homes during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the site and the wider community.

Those residents who had tested positive for coronavirus were asked to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days from the time they started showing symptoms or from when they took their test.

If those who have been in self-isolation for the minimum seven days are now well enough, they can finish self-isolation and leave their home. This means that initial positive cases may finish isolation this coming week.

Local test site set up

To help prevent further transmission into the wider community, a test site has now been established in Craven Arms for local residents.

The test site at Craven Arms Business Park was set up on Saturday (July 25) and will be open for the next two weeks every day from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Testing is by appointment only, and Craven Arms residents are being asked to book an appointment via NHS Test and Trace online or by ringing 119.

Health protection

Shropshire Council and partners continue to provide health protection, advice, support and guidance to the residents on the site and the wider community in Craven Arms.

As soon as the council were notified of the first cases, it arranged immediate testing with residents from the site to allow them to understand transmission and help control the spread of infection.

Since the start of the outbreak a comprehensive range of measures have been put place, including isolation, distributing personal protective equipment and providing essential services and supplies to residents.

Community support

Shropshire Council’s community reassurance team (CRT) continues to work with the residents and local businesses to offer support.

The team has been arranging food and essential supplies for residents on the site, while residents self-isolate. The team have been working with partners including the police, NHS, Public Health England and businesses to engage with the public and provide reassurance and support to the community.

Over the weekend, CRT officers were out in the community delivering essential supplies and prescriptions to the residents on site and were joined by David Evans, councillor for Church Stretton and Craven Arms, to offer support to residents and businesses in the town and distribute community posters to the wider community.

Councillor David Evans said: “Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of our local residents. I’ve been in Craven Arms to talk to residents and businesses to answer any questions and reassure them that the risk to the general public is low.

“We continue to work closely with Shropshire Council’s partners including the NHS, Public Health England, our local police and other key agencies, to provide up to date advice and support to our local community, to help prevent further spread of coronavirus.

“I would like to thank members of the community for their own ongoing support and co-operation.

“We continue to rely on everyone at the site playing their part, and want to encourage the residents to continue to self-isolate and take all the necessary precautions. This is the only way we can help stop the spread of the virus.

“As we now have a test site in the town, if anyone is having symptoms, I would strongly encourage them to book an appointment either online or by calling 119. Anyone concerned can book an appointment.”