Plea as Shropshire Covid rates remain above national average

The number of Covid cases in the county continues to fall, but health officials are yet again urging people to stick to the rules.

Coronavirus test kit
Coronavirus test kit

Both Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council said they had seen falls in the number of cases in the past week.

In Telford the number of cases has fallen by 27 per cent in the last week, while Shropshire saw a drop of 23 per cent.

Despite the progress there has been a word of caution from Liz Noakes, Telford & Wrekin Council's public health director, who said the number of cases per 100,000 people remained above the West Midlands average.

Mrs Noakes said the rate for the borough was 187, compared to 174 in the West Midlands, and 132 nationally.

The rate in the Shropshire Council area stands at 152.

Mrs Noakes said that despite the progress, the benefits would only be seen if people continue to adhere to the restrictions.

She said: “We have seen a sustained fall in coronavirus cases now week on week – thank you to everyone for staying at home.

“However, we are still above regional and national averages; we need to keep going to get our rates as low as possible before lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“It can be tempting to bend the rules after several weeks of lockdown but I would urge everyone to stay at home – only go out for essential reasons, shop when necessary, and send one person to do the shopping.

“Data suggests that outbreaks in workplaces where home working is not possible continues to be an issue.

“There are several rapid test centres across the borough and we’d encourage employers and employees to make regular use of them; test results are provided in 30 minutes for those with no symptoms and rapid tests can help to give people peace of mind that their family is protected.

“Avoiding car sharing and following hands-face-space when you’re at work or on a break remains the best way to prevent the spread in the workplace.”

Gratitude

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s Director of Public Health thanked the public for their efforts.

She said: “The figures for the number of people with Covid-19 in Shropshire have declined again this week and our weekly rate in the county has now fallen to the lowest rates time since early December, which good news.

"This is down to the collective efforts of all our residents and I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone for all the sacrifices they continue to make.

“However, our cases still remain high and we have a long road ahead. We’ve seen before what happens when we relax too soon and how quickly the virus can spread when we let our guard down

"This week the UK government has talked about a gradual easing of restrictions in the future. With the collective efforts of everyone, we can drive down the levels of Covid-19 in Shropshire even further before lockdown ends.”

Andy Burford, Telford & Wrekin Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, added his voice to the calls for people to remain vigilant and follow the guidelines.

He said: “Thanks to the efforts of our residents we are getting closer to being below the regional and national averages – but we still remain above them.

“It’s not clear yet what the rules will be after lockdown but when this is reviewed we will want to be in the best position possible.

“For the sake of local businesses and the health of our residents we need to make the most of this lockdown - if we don’t then we may face future local restrictions.”

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