Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

North East England lockdown: Areas at risk of lockdown as cases rise by 344 percent

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The Government is closely monitoring coronavirus cases across the country and has been implementing local lockdowns for areas with increases in cases. In what has been dubbed the ‘whack a mole’ strategy, towns, cities and regions can be placed under lockdown to prevent further spread.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been announcing on Fridays the extent of lockdown in those areas affected, as well as if any new areas will face restrictions.

Leicester, Trafford, Bolton, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire are currently under stricter rules than the rest of the country due to a rise in cases.

Now, areas across the North of England, more specifically the North East are being watched closely after an increase in cases week on week.

But where has the increase in coronavirus cases been seen over the past week?

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Data is published each week to reveal the number of cases across the country, and now several new areas across the North East have been recorded having increased cases.

Several areas across County Durham including Darlington, Teesside and North Yorkshire have been added to Public Health England’s COVID-19 ‘hotspot’ map.

The map shows the number of new Covid-19 cases between August 22 and August 28.

South Tyneside has also been added to Public Health England’s map, with 47.9 cases per 100,000 people recorded in the week ending September 1, a 140 percent increase in cases.

Middlesbrough has reached 30.6 per 100,000 an eight percent increase, while Redcar and Cleveland are on 24.9, a 143 percent uplift.

Gateshead is on 24.2 with a 172 percent increase and Stockton-on-Tees 20.3 – which is a 344 percent week-on-week increase.

The Government has been introducing quarantine measures in countries which have more than 20 cases per 100,000 people, so restrictions on these areas are not out of the question.

The cases in these areas for the week of August 26 to September 1 are as follows:

  • South Tyneside – 72
  • Gateshead – 49
  • Middlesbrough – 43
  • Stockton on Tees – 40
  • Redcar and Cleveland – 34

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Latest Public Health England data, published on August 31, shows a total of 16,135 people have tested positive for the virus in the North-East (excluding North Yorkshire) since the outbreak began.

Also in the North of England, Leeds residents have been warned there will be “no alternative” to further lockdown restrictions if coronavirus infection rates continue to rise.

The city is expected to be added to Public Health England’s weekly watch list of areas of concern, after a rise in cases over the previous weeks.

The city council has said while being on the list would not mean further restrictions would be brought in at this stage, it would mean increased monitoring of cases and could see additional steps taken in the future.

The latest seven-day infection rate shows Leeds as having 29.4 cases per 100,000 people, with 44 new cases identified on Wednesday and a testing positivity rate of 4.2 percent.

Council leader and chair of the outbreak control board, Judith Blake, said: “This is a pivotal moment in our efforts to control the spread of the virus in Leeds and to keep our city open.

“Nobody wants to see further restrictions on life in Leeds and we want to assure everyone that we’re doing absolutely everything within our power to avoid that happening.

“But the harsh reality is that if our infection rate continues to rise as it has been, we will be left with no alternative.

“With that in mind, now more than ever we need a collective effort from the people of Leeds who have shown so much resilience and civic pride throughout this crisis.

“It’s up to us all to keep our families, friends and neighbours safe and to play our part in keeping Leeds’s recovery going.”

The council has reminded people to isolate if anyone in their household is showing Covid-19 symptoms, to keep social distancing, wear a face covering and to wash hands regularly.

Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council’s director of public health, said: “It’s imperative that we do all we can to contain the spread of this virus and protect one another at this crucial time for the city.”

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