You may have noticed that Swindon moved up a place in the Government’s weekly COVID-19 watchlist last Friday.

This means we are currently classed as an “area for enhanced support” along with eight other local authority areas, and have been given priority access to any additional help we may need from Central Government to bring our COVID-19 case rate down.

I have read some comments that we are one step closer to a local lockdown and, while our position in the table is just underneath those places who have had local restrictions, the positive thing is that we are seeing an improving picture in Swindon.

The Government watchlist is based on infection rates from a week previously, so although our case rates were listed as 43.7 per 100,000 of the population, the case rates from last week were encouragingly lower than those reported.

We are continuing to see a fall in the case rate this week, which indicates that people in Swindon are heeding the advice to wash their hands, cover their faces in enclosed spaces and maintain social distancing.

We also want people to self-isolate if they have any of the COVID-19 symptoms and to book a test.

It is three weeks since we launched our ‘Swindon: It’s up to all of us’ campaign and I would like to thank everyone who has shared our messages, passed on advice to loved ones and, most importantly, followed the important guidance. We all have a part to play.

This week, Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens and his management team backed our campaign, which is great to see, because the more people who can share our messages the better.

As part of our engagement activity we have also been briefing headteachers and governors on the latest situation in Swindon and a letter from our Director of Public Health, Steve Maddern, went out to all schools at the end of last week.

Steve and his team have been particularly busy over the last few weeks promoting the campaign and we recently held two live Facebook Q&As to answer questions from residents. Another Facebook Q&A was held last night focusing on the return of schools and a recording of this will be available later this week.

So far our social media content promoting the ‘Swindon: It’s up to all of us campaign’ has reached almost one million people from around 170 posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In.

Our campaign materials have been shared by more than 75 partners and local organisations and the local media, including the Advertiser, have done a great job in helping us to get these important public health messages out to local residents.

Remember, if you have a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss of taste or smell (no matter how mild) get tested straight away and self-isolate.

It is the only way we will continue to break the chain of infection.