Across Cumbria data is beginning to indicate that in most parts of the county the infection rate is beginning to stabilise, with all areas now below the England average.
However, concerns remain particularly for South Lakeland and Barrow which both saw significant increases in new cases, up 42% and 32% respectively. Both areas continue to be monitored closely.
All Cumbrian districts now have infection rates of between 188 and 224 per 100,000 population. The England average is 274 per 100,000 population.
The number of people in hospital as a result of COVID-19 also continued to increase, with 93 people in north Cumbria and 161 in the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust areas (17 November), up from 64 and 158 respectively last week. However, there are early indications that the number of new hospital admissions each day is dropping in the south of the county.
A further 25 people have died in the last seven days.
The latest COVID-19 situation report can be found at www.cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “Nationally it remains to be seen whether this latest lockdown is going to be effective in driving down infection rates, and the signs at the moment are not hugely encouraging. Locally in Cumbria the picture is a little more positive, and it is pleasing to see most areas starting to level off – we are no longer seeing the alarming rates of increase of just a few weeks ago.
“But it’s very clear that our hospitals, particularly in the north of the county now, are under intense pressure as a result of increasing admissions for COVID-19 and that it is not sustainable for them to operate like this.
“So while we are below the England average, by any normal measure the infection rate is still high and I really urge everyone in the county to stick to the current rules and do all you can to avoid unnecessary social contact, keep your distance, cover your face and keep washing hands. If we do, then we can reduce the pressure on our hospitals and give ourselves the best chance of restrictions being loosened in time for Christmas. This really is a critical time.”