Caution urged as lockdown restrictions set to ease
As the country prepares for easing of lockdown restrictions from next Monday, the number of new COVID-19 infections in Cumbria dropped to 114 in week ending 19 March, a 17% reduction on the previous week. Overall Cumbria recorded 23 new cases per 100,000 population, compared to a national average of 55 per 100,000.
The overall figure does mask some changes at a district level, including a 61% increase in cases in Barrow. However, the actual number of new cases remains relatively low.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 also continued to drop, although the south of the county did see a small increase in new admissions.
Data from the mass testing of secondary school students and staff continues to be reviewed, with a small number of school related outbreaks being very closely monitored and managed by Public Health teams.
The position in the county’s care homes is the most positive for some time, with only three homes currently experiencing outbreaks.
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: "This week’s figures are encouraging; our infection rate is continuing to drop and we are well below the national average. That said there are some things causing a degree of concern, in particular the much higher, and increasing, infection rates in some other north west Local Authorities and the small number of outbreaks we are seeing in schools.
"On Monday restrictions will ease somewhat, a little more social contact will be permitted, and that’s welcome. We all need to remember though that significant restrictions will remain in place including a ban on people from different households mixing indoors. It also remains vitally important to continue to follow the hands, face, space guidance to reduce the risk of infection spread. A further wave of infection is a real possibility and that would mean restrictions remaining in place for longer, something none of us want. So, I’d urge everyone to be cautious, don’t think this is over yet."
The weekly COVID-19 situation report is available at www.cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread
Key Points for Cumbria are:
- There were 114 new cases in Cumbria (a decrease of 24, -17%, from 138 cases in the previous week);
- Barrow-in-Furness joined Allerdale in having the greatest numbers of new cases (both +29 new cases);
- Barrow-in-Furness also replaced Allerdale in having the highest rate of new cases (43 new cases per 100k population);
- Rates in all Cumbrian districts were below both the national and regional average rates (55 and 69 new cases per 100k population respectively);
- New cases decreased from the previous week in Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland;
- New cases increased in Barrow-in-Furness by 61%;
- New cases also increased in Eden and South Lakeland (+22% and +19% respectively), however, it should be noted that numerically these increases were small and rates in Eden and South Lakeland remain below the county average;
- The 25-34 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria, followed by the 55-64 and 35-44 age groups;
- The only age groups to experience increases in new cases from the previous week were the 25-34 and 55-64 age groups;
- There were zero new cases seen in the 85+ age group.