PEOPLE in Dudley are being urged to do all they can to help stop the spread of coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases nationally and locally continues to rise.

With 11 officially confirmed cases of coronavirus in Dudley, and the deaths of seven people with COVID-19, a large proportion of patients have reportedly been discharged from hospital to isolate at home.

But the number of cases is expected to continue to rise in the coming days, so communities are urged to follow the advice of health professionals and adhere to the measures announced by the Government to help minimise the spread of the virus further.

Deborah Harkins, Dudley Council’s director of public health, said: “It is important that people should not be unduly worried by the increase in the number of coronavirus cases which are being confirmed nationally and locally – but it is equally important that we now all take steps to help prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

“In particular, this means following the social distancing measures announced by the Government earlier this week.

“Clearly, the next few weeks are going to be incredibly difficult for everyone as we reduce our social interaction to protect our families and other people – but it is vitally important that we all follow this guidance so that we can all do our bit to help prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus.”

People under 70 who do not have underlying health conditions are advised to limit social contact as much as possible, including using public transport less, working at home if possible and not venturing to pubs, restaurants, theatres and gyms which have now all been asked to shut their doors.

Those aged 70 and over, younger people with underlying health conditions and pregnant women need to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures, and are urged to significantly limit face-to-face interaction with friends and family as much as possible.

People are urged to wash their hands with soap and water more often, for at least 20 seconds to protect themselves and others, and to cover their mouth and nose with disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing. If there are no tissues to hand people are asked to sneeze into their elbow rather than their hand - and to put tissues in the bin and wash hands immediately afterwards.

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There’s also advice on how people can protect themselves and their families online at For further information and guidance, visit

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust says it is now routinely testing patients for coronavirus if they display symptoms of respiratory illness.

Public health laboratories are working hard to get test results out in a timely manner and prioritising those for the most unwell patients in hospital.

Regardless of whether the results are confirmed, the Trust says it is taking steps to cohort patients to ensure they and others receive the care they need in a safe environment.

Meanwhile - the Trust, council and Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group are writing to all vulnerable residents providing important guidance to those most at risk.

The council has also developed a webpage with advice specifically for vulnerable patients living in Dudley about how to access support from Dudley service.