Covid infection rate among older people in Telford 'worryingly high'

The rate of infection among the over 80s in Telford and Wrekin is concerning, health chiefs have said, despite the number of new weekly cases falling across the borough.

Latest figures show the area had 250 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people last week, above the England average of 201 but below that across the West Midlands.

A total of 448 people tested positive, down from 616 the previous week.

But infection rates in the over 80s in Telford and Wrekin stood at 314 cases per 100,000 people – a figure which has concerned health bosses.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s director for public health Liz Noakes said: “While I want to thank all residents who have responded to the call to get tested and this decrease in cases is welcome, it is too early to say if our numbers are going in the right direction – our total cases remain high particularly among older residents.

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“The infection rate among the older population, who are at far greater risk, is worryingly high.

"Unless the infection rates in these age groups fall further, we can expect more hospitalisations and more strain on local care and NHS resources.

“We must all work together to protect older and other vulnerable family members. We cannot let our guard down and must continue to do everything we can to stop the virus’ spread.

“The simplest thing we can all do is limit our social contact as much as possible and if you have any of the main symptoms, however mild, get tested straight away."

The council is calling on people to get a precautionary test if they have a headache, aches and pains, are feeling very tired for no good reason, have a sore throat, runny nose and are sneezing.

Meanwhile, the infection rate for Shropshire was 168.7 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the seven days to November 19 – lower than the average in the West Midlands and England.

A total of 545 new cases were reported, 55 of which related to people aged 70 and over.

The number of new cases had fallen by 245 compared to the previous week.

Sacrifices

It comes as the county, including Telford and Wrekin, will be placed under Tier 2 restrictions – the high alert level – once the national lockdown ends next week.

This means that pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen, but only to customers who buy a ‘substantial meal’ during their visit.

People will not be allowed to socialise indoors with anyone who is not part of their household or support bubble, but will be allowed to meet family and friends in an outdoor setting.

In a plea to ensure people keep following the rules, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting said: "Our residents and businesses have made many sacrifices to try to control this virus.

"It has been a tough few months but now, more than ever, we need pull together.

"By following the guidance, we can cut the rates of infection and return to doing the things we love.”

To book a coronavirus test visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

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