Shropshire and Telford have highest Covid infection rates in whole of West Midlands

Shropshire has higher coronavirus infection rates than anywhere else in the West Midlands, the latest figures show.

The coronavirus infection rate in Shropshire is above 500 cases per 100,000 people
The coronavirus infection rate in Shropshire is above 500 cases per 100,000 people

The Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Council areas are the only two local authority areas in the region to have rates above 500 per 100,000 people.

The rate is 516.8 in the Telford & Wrekin council area and 512.3 in the Shropshire Council area according to figures for the seven days to November 13 - the latest period where full data is available. This is compared to 366.3 for the West Midlands as a whole and 395.4 for the UK.

A total of 1,667 cases were confirmed in Shropshire in that week - an increase of 35 per cent - while 937 cases were reported in Telford which is up 13 per cent on the week before.

In the same period 11 coronavirus patients died at Shropshire's two major hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford, according to the latest data from NHS England.

The highest infection rates in the county are in rural areas to the north, east and south of Shrewsbury.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, urged those that are eligible to get their booster job to increase their protection.

"Cases are rising rapidly across Shropshire and we currently have the highest rates in the West Midlands," she said.

"This is a common pattern in other rural areas and across the country, but it is concerning and we want the rates to come down as quickly as possible.

"We all know what we can do to help with this. We’ve done it before so I am asking people to please step up and do it again."

The local area with the highest infection rate in Shropshire is Bayston Hill & Atcham where 79 new cases in the week to November 13 saw the rate triple to 944.2.

Shawbury & Weston is second highest in Shropshire with a rate of 867.4 - after 56 new cases while the highest rate in Telford is Hollinswood & Randlay's 882.4 after 85 new cases.

Torridge in Devon has the highest rate in the UK, with a rate of 849.8 after 584 new cases in the seven days to November 13.

Gwynedd, which includes much of north east Wales from Aberdyfi up to Bangor, has the highest rate in Wales at 691.1.

Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin's director for public health, said a large proportion of cases are among teenagers.

She said: “Covid infection rate continues to be at a very high level in our borough, mainly driven by a high number of cases in younger age groups (under 20s).

“Small but important actions can help protect us and our loved ones against the virus and reduce the pressure on our local NHS.

“As we are approaching winter and meet more people inside, it's also important to use ventilation as an effective way to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at home.

"Regularly opening windows, even if just for a few minutes, helps keep the air moving and prevent infections.

“Thank you to everyone in our borough for the efforts made to keep us Covid safe.”

Ms Robinson reminded people to stick to the basics, saying: "Simple things like wearing face masks in busy places, keeping indoor areas well ventilated and following hands-face-space-fresh air really do work.

"Testing twice a week, even if you are fully vaccinated, is also key. We need to find these positive cases as soon as possible to stop if from spreading further."

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