Council records highest number of Covid cases amid explosion in positive tests

A council says the number of Covid cases has reached its highest point during the entire pandemic, amid an explosion in positive tests.

Council records highest number of Covid cases amid explosion in positive tests

Across both Shropshire and the Telford & Wrekin council areas there have been around 2,000 cases in the space of seven days.

The situation has led to public health officials to urge caution from the public, and to ask people to wear face masks – despite the government dropping the legal requirement.

Shropshire, with 1,037 cases in the seven days to July 15, has seen an 82 per cent rise in infections, with a rate of 320 cases per 100,000 people.

Telford & Wrekin meanwhile has reported its highest number of cases over a seven day period for the entire pandemic with 984 cases in the seven days up to July 18, and a rate of 547 cases per 100,000 people.

The number of hospitalisations has also increased with 14 patients being treated as of July 14.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said: “The number of cases in Shropshire continues to rise sharply and hospitalisations are slowly increasing too. With most legal restrictions being lifted by the Government at a time when the virus is spreading so quickly in our communities, I urge everyone to remain cautious.

“I still strongly advise the use of face coverings, particularly in crowded, busy places or where ventilation may be poor, and to keep a safe social distance where possible. Now restrictions have been ended, let’s not forget about good hand hygiene: these are simple and effective things we can all do to stop the spread of the virus.

“Testing through Lateral Flow Tests for people without symptoms, or a more reliable PCR test for those with symptoms, are still necessary measures. If you do get a positive PCR test you must self-isolate immediately.

“There are also still lots of Shropshire residents eligible for the vaccine, whether it be a second dose or both doses. Please book online, call 119 or visit a walk-in clinic to get yours as soon as possible. You are less likely to become seriously ill if you do contract Covid-19.”

Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin's Director for Public Health, urged those not yet vaccinated to book an appointment.

She said: "For the benefit of others, we should continue to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly, keeping space from others, and wearing masks.

"Bed occupancy has increased slightly, and with the hospitals busy already this will place a strain on our local hospitals.

"More than half of the people in hospital with coronavirus have not been vaccinated.

"This stresses how important it is for people to be vaccinated.

"Those who have been vaccinated can still fall ill but hopefully not seriously, so be conscientious of others – this is still a virus you want to avoid catching and spreading."

Councillor Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, added: "Our cases are now the highest they have been in Telford & Wrekin, and we must acknowledge that hospitalisation is also beginning to increase.

"So please be cautious, practice hands, face, space, and wear a mask where you think it is appropriate.

"I would also strongly encourage people to get vaccinated - the vaccine is key to ensuring that we can keep people out of local hospitals.

"There are now several walk-in vaccination sites open across Telford and Wrekin.

"No appointment is required, and you don't need to be registered with a local GP."

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