Coronavirus cases at Long Lane caravan site in Craven Arms rise

The number of positive cases linked to a Coronavirus outbreak at the Long Lane travellers site in Craven Arms is now at 25.

Craven Arms welcome signs. Image: Google Street View
Craven Arms welcome signs. Image: Google Street View

Shropshire Council and Public Health England Midlands are continuing to work with key partners to contain the outbreak with testing available to all residents at the site, so far 47 people have been tested.

Food and essential supplies are being arranged for residents during the ongoing period of isolation with several residents having completed their period of self-isolation and able to leave the site.

Shropshire Council says that the risk to the public is low, and encourage everyone to play their part by continuing to follow the Government guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission.

Testing for local residents

As an additional measure, testing is available for residents of Craven Arms, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms. A test site at Craven Arms Business Park is open every day from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Craven Arms residents can book an appointment via NHS Test and Trace online or by ringing 119.

A drop in testing sessions will be available in two locations this Friday 31 July with no prior booking required. A drive-through testing site will be open at the Craven Arms Business Park (Highways depot) from 10.30am – 3.30pm and a walk-in test is available at the Halo Community Centre between 10.30am – 1.30pm.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health said:

“We recognise there has been a level of anxiety within the wider Craven Arms community and that’s why we are offering local people the opportunity to get tested.

“The best way to do this is by contacting the NHS; however, people can also attend the mobile testing unit this Friday without an appointment.

“A face covering will need to be worn, and social distancing must also be followed at all times when at the site.

“Wherever a case of COVID-19 is confirmed, close contacts of the case are identified and followed up through Test and Trace. This includes anyone who may have come into contact with confirmed cases within the local community.”

Understanding and support

Lee Chapman, a local Shropshire Councillor for Church Stretton and Craven Arms, and Chair of Shropshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, added:

“I cannot praise the local community enough for the understanding and support they have shown during this outbreak. The risk to the Craven Arms community is still very low, and at this stage in the pandemic we still expect to see more outbreaks as the virus continues to circulate within communities both locally and across the West Midlands, as well as nationally

“I would like to remind everybody that it is important to wash your hands, maintain social distancing and to wear a face covering to help protect others.”

David Evans, a local Shropshire Councillor for Church Stretton and Craven Arms, said:

“Craven Arms is still open for business and we want residents and visitors to enjoy everything our wonderful town has to offer. Our Shropshire Hills are part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and everyone who visits our community will be guaranteed a warm welcome.

“We all have a vital role in preventing the spread of coronavirus by always sticking to social distancing guidelines – that’s staying two metres away from others and washing hands regularly.

“I am pleased that drop-in testing sessions are being offered to residents. As well as making it easier for people to get a test, it will also help Shropshire Council and Public Health England gain further insight into the local situation.”

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