Calderdale councillors urged to get coronavirus test after positive cases following council meeting

Halifax Town HallHalifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall
Calderdale councillors have been asked to get tested for Covid-19 after some of the attendees at a council meeting tested positive for the disease.

Ben Leaman, Calderdale Council’s Consultant in Public Health, said "a small number" of people who were at the full council meeting at Halifax Town Hall on September 22 had since tested positive and there was a chance they contracted the disease at the meeting.

“Following Calderdale’s Full Council meeting on Wednesday, September 22, we are aware that a small number of attendees developed Covid-19 symptoms and have subsequently tested positive," he said.

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"Based on the information we have, there is a possibility that they contracted Covid-19 at the meeting, even with the additional protective measures we had in place.

“As a result, and in line with national guidance, we recommended that all attendees should take a PCR test, and if they felt unwell, to self-isolate whilst awaiting the result.

"This precautionary measure is the usual public health response to situations where Covid-19 may have spread at a meeting like this.

“As the virus is still within our community, we can all play our part to control the spread by washing our hands and doing the five big things.”

The five big things recommended by the council are:

Give others space

Wear a mask in busy places

Get tested and self-isolate if notified to do so

Mix outside or let air in

Get both doses of the vaccine if you are eligible

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One councillor on his way to have a PCR test - those at the meeting were notified today (October 1) - posted a Facebook video critical of the Government's decision not to renew legislation which allowed the council to hold meetings like this one remotely, as they had during the first year of the pandemic.

Councillor Josh Fenton-Glynn (Lab, Calder) posted on his Facebook page: "I don't have symptoms but there is a potential outbreak at Calderdale's Full Council.

"This is the result of a Government decision that all council meetings have to be in person if you're making decisions and the reason I'm updating you on that is because it's one of those unnecessary risks we've been made to take.

"I understand the desire to open things up but when you can do things just as easily on Zoom, why put more people at risk?" he said.

Councillor Fenton-Glynn said he tried not to be partisan when talking about Covid-19 but this was a case of getting simple things right.