Almost half of county's new Covid cases reported in under 20s

Almost half of new Covid cases reported recently in Shropshire were in the under 20s, with health bosses encouraging schools to reintroduce measures to help stop the spread.

There were 1,493 new cases reported in Shropshire in the seven says to October 14 – an eight per cent rise on the previous week.

Last week, there were also 1,053 new cases in Telford and Wrekin, which was 101 more compared to the previous seven days.

Health chiefs say they are also seeing a rise in cases among the over 65s.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s director of public health, said: "Nearly 50 per cent of all positive cases between October 8-14 were in the under-20s.

"The number of outbreaks in schools continues to rise so we have sent updated advice to all education settings in the county encouraging them to reintroduce measures to help stop the spread.

"Our health protection team are working with affected schools to help manage the situation."

She said the county's hospitals were also still dealing with a high number of Covid patients.

"As winter approaches, rising rates and other seasonal viruses like the flu could put extra pressure on the NHS," she added.

"We will continue to work closely with our health colleagues to monitor the impact."

Helen Onions, Telford and Wrekin's acting statutory director for public health, said infection rates in Telford and Wrekin have been increasingly high for several weeks now, although the 11 per cent increase this week was lower than the national 20 per cent increase in rates.

Health bosses say regular testing with lateral flow tests is essential even if people do not have symptoms.

"If your child has Covid symptoms, however mild, please keep them off school and book a PCR test," Ms Onions added.

Councillor Andy Burford, Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for health and social care, is encouraging those who haven't yet had a Covid vaccine, or need their booster jab, to come forward.

He said: "Each vaccine helps to prevent serious illness, reduces the risk of needing a hospital stay and slows the spread of the virus.

"Over 130,000 people in our borough have already had their first jab, and we are doing everything we can to vaccinate more.

"Don't delay getting your vaccination – book your appointment on the NHS website or walk-in to a vaccination clinic.

"You can go and get your Covid-19 booster if you had your second dose at least six months ago.

"Drop-in now to one of our walk-in clinic sites at Woodside Pharmacy or at Turreff Hall in Donnington or book an appointment via the national booking service to get your Covid-19 booster.

"If you prefer to be vaccinated at your GP surgery or primary care network, please wait to be contacted.

“We are working with the local NHS to roll-out vaccinations for 12 to15-year-olds as soon as possible.”

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