Coronavirus cases in Telford nearly treble in a week - prompting plea from health bosses

Health bosses in Telford have renewed their calls for people to stay at home and follow the lockdown rules after coronavirus cases nearly trebled in a week.

The infection rate is now higher than the peak for Telford and Wrekin seen in November, and the rate in the over 60s has increased by 109 per cent to 272 per 100,000.

Health leaders are urging people to stay home during the lockdown to stem the spread.

For the week ending January 6, 802 people had been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the borough – a 192 per cent rise compared with last week’s total of 275 cases.

The seven day infection rate for Telford and Wrekin was 446 cases per 100,000.

Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin’s director for public health, said: “This is a dramatic rise in cases, it is crucial that residents stay at home and follow the ‘lockdown’ rules to protect the NHS at this critical time.

“People need to act like everyone has the virus, and that they may be carrying the virus themselves – one in three people with Covid-19 show no symptoms.

“This means regular hand washing, wearing of face coverings, and social distancing is crucial and must be adhered to 100 per cent of the time.

“If you show any symptoms of coronavirus you must urgently self-isolate and get tested, getting a test is one of the reasons people can leave home in this lockdown.

Rising case rates in Telford and Wrekin. Data: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

“The rapid testing centre at the Place, Oakengates, is now open to any resident who is not displaying symptoms to get tested – especially those people who can’t avoid leaving home for work.

“In particular, we are calling on residents in seven of Telford and Wrekin’s wards to get a rapid test as rates in these wards exceed 550 per 100,000.

“If you live in Newport North & West, Apley Castle, Shawbirch, Horsehay & Lightmoor, Priorslee, Admaston & Bratton, and St Georges and are not showing any symptoms – please book a rapid test at the Place, Oakengates next week at rapidtest.telford.gov.uk"

Rapid tests are for people over 16 years of age who are not displaying symptoms and who have not had a positive coronavirus test in the past.

Testing is by appointment only and subject to limited availability.

Rising case rates in Telford and Wrekin. Data: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

Ms Noakes added: “It is not clear what exactly has caused our rates to escalate, but we suspect that the new variant is circulating within the borough and this has combined with mixing of households over Christmas to spread the virus.”

Andy Burford, Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for health and social care, said: “It is imperative that we all follow the lockdown rules to ensure that the NHS is protected at this time.

“We need to get more vaccines to people in our borough with cases increasing at the rate they are – the Government’s vaccination programme is not being rolled out quickly enough locally.

“The council will continue to offer the NHS and government our full support to make this happen.”

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