'On the brink': Tougher restrictions warning for Shropshire as Covid case rate continues to climb

Shropshire's Covid case rate has continued to climb with the area's director of public health warning it is on the "brink of having tougher restrictions imposed".

Warning over meeting people outside household bubbles
Warning over meeting people outside household bubbles

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council's director of public health, said the area is at critical point in the battle against Covid-19, and is "strongly advising" people to limit contact with those outside their social bubble.

As of yesterday, Public Health England put the Shropshire Council area case rate at 90.4 per 100,000.

In Telford & Wrekin the case rate has risen to 122, with the number of positive tests more than doubling from 105 to 220 in the seven days up to October 15.

A case rate of 100 in 100,000 is one of the triggers – in combination with a series of others such as hospital admissions – that can lead to areas being moved up in the government's tier system, with greater restrictions coming into force as a result.

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are currently in the lowest tier – medium.

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Shropshire Council has issued a request pleading with residents to keep their distance from anyone they do not live with, except for close friends or family who are part of their support bubble.

Ms Robinson said: “This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone in Shropshire and we appreciate all the sacrifices that our residents and businesses have made to help protect each other.

"However, I cannot stress enough that community household transmission is a large factor in spreading the virus. If we are mixing indoors with up to six people, we are at risk.

Complacent

"Over the past few weeks, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of household transmissions. It’s understandable that people want to mix and socialise with friends and family after being deprived of this during lockdown.

"There is a sense that people are becoming complacent when meeting at home. We still need to keep two metres apart from people that are not in our household bubble.

“We all need to protect ourselves and each other.

“We are on the brink of having tougher restriction imposed on us. I am urging all residents to act now and limit their contact with one they do not live with, except for close friends or family who are part of their support bubble.

“I truly believe that if people take this advice on board, it will help us reduce our rates of infection.”

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, added: “The news that rates have continued to rise sharply in Shropshire means there is absolutely no room for complacency.

“Every social interaction is the opportunity for the virus to infect and spread. We know it’s extremely difficult, but we ask residents to be extra cautious by limiting the number of people we’re in contact with socially.

“Please keep to two metres apart from people outside your bubble. It may be tempting to let your guard down, especially when meeting in the comfort of your own home, but household infections are huge contributing factor to our rising case rate.”

Under Shropshire’s current restrictions, no more than six people can gather together – either indoors or outdoors.

People should also follow social distancing – two metres apart where possible when meeting.

If it is not possible to observe the two metre-distance indoors, people are advised to follow other measures such as wearing face coverings, opening windows and doors to increase ventilation or moving outdoors.

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