Cheshire East Council is warning residents the pandemic isn’t over following a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases recently.
Latest figures released on the official UK government website (21 March) show the rate of positive cases in Cheshire East has risen to 843 per 100,000 population. The rate per
100,000 population in the North West is 642 and 780 in England.
The current estimate for the ‘R number’ in the North West is 1.1 – 1.4 (19 March 2022). This means that, on average, 10 infected people will transmit the infection to 11 to 14 other people.
81.3 per cent of all positive Covid-19 cases are of the new BA.2 Omicron variant, which is shown to be far more transmissible.
Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “The rise in positive Covid-19 cases recently not only in Cheshire East but in neighbouring areas, is worrying, although not wholly surprising since restrictions have ended in England.
“Looking at the recent surge in cases across the borough in all age groups, it is clear the pandemic is far from over.
“Sadly, we are also seeing an increase in hospitalisations for people with Covid-19, which is creating additional pressures, especially in our local hospitals.
“Residents should continue to follow the latest Covid-19 safety advice including self-isolating if you develop covid symptoms or test positive, washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and unless exempt, wearing a face mask in busy, crowded indoor places, especially in healthcare settings.”
Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Positive Covid-19 cases were falling right up until the beginning of this month.
“Over the period 15 to 21 March we have seen a 46.7 per cent rise in cases – that’s an increase of 1,145 residents testing positive in Cheshire East over the past seven days.
“I am also concerned about government funding not being renewed for the Covid Zoe project run by King’s College London, as well as a reduction of £440m for test & trace programmes and public health teams which have been working so effectively on infection control. These cuts do not appear to have come at a good time.
“We look after each other by staying safe and it really is in our hands to do all we can to reduce this latest rise of Covid-19 cases.”
Residents can continue to take the following five steps to help reduce the rate of infection and for those around them:
- Get vaccinated to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill and to protect others;
- Wear a face covering in crowded and indoor places – unless exempt;
- Let in fresh air when you meet others indoors, especially if they’re at high risk from Covid-19;
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitiser; and
- Stay at home and get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms.
For all the latest information on Covid-19 testing, vaccinations, support, and guidance, please go to the council’s webpages at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/covid19