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Health

Local health leaders welcome drop in new infections as new tier comes into force

As the national lockdown restrictions end and new Tier 2 arrangements take their place, health leaders in Cumbria have welcomed drop in the number of new COVID-19 infections in the county and thank the public for their contribution.

For week ending 27 November, provisional* data shows 408 new COVID-19 cases, down from a high of 1055 cases in week ending 13 November – a 61% reduction. National lockdown measures were imposed on 5 November.

This is the second week in a row that the number of new cases has reduced, cases having risen in every one of the preceding 13 weeks.

The new Tier 2 restrictions include:

  • No mixing with other households indoors, apart from support bubbles
  • A limit of six on groups meeting outdoors
  • Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants
  • Guidance to limit unnecessary journeys and avoid travel into Tier 3 areas

Full details of the new restrictions can be found on GOV.UK.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’ Director of Public Health, said: “This reduction in new infections is really good news and shows quite clearly that in Cumbria the lockdown measures have achieved their main aim of significantly slowing the spread of the virus. I’d like to thank everyone doing their bit over the past four weeks; it’s because people have overwhelmingly done the right thing that we are in this improved position. I know these restrictions have been difficult for people for a range of reasons and I sincerely hope it Is not necessary for these measures to be brought back in the future.

“The new three tier system has built on the previous one. The rules in each tier are now different, and tougher, than before. If people stick to these new rules then we have a chance to further reduce the number of new infections, and hopefully drop down into the lowest tier of restrictions. But the fact that only three parts of the England are currently in Tier 1 shows this will not be easy, and given how quickly we know this infection can spread we could easily move up a tier if we don’t take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and our communities.”

The number of COVID-19 positive patients in the county’s hospital has also started to reduce along with the number of admissions.

However COVID-19 is still present in our community and some people who contract the virus will become unwell enough to require acute hospital care, we must still take care to follow the guidance to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 here in Cumbria.

Dr Rod Harpin, medical director for North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust said: “We are now seeing a steady reduction in our hospital admissions for COVID-19. At the peak of this second wave we were caring for between 80 and 90 people with COVID-19 in our hospitals and this is now between 60 and 70 people.

“On behalf of the Trust I would like to sincerely thank the Cumbrian communities for supporting us by adhering to the government guidelines.

“We know it has been hard for all of us but thanks to everyone doing their bit we have managed to keep all of our out-patient clinics and planned operations running this time.  I have no doubt that everyone’s efforts has saved lives and while the new restrictions will still be hard I urge everyone to do their bit to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Louise Mason Lodge, Director of Nursing and Quality for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know the number of people being confirmed with covid and requiring medical help was growing, and lockdown has helped us get this back to a more manageable level.

“Our GPs are continuing to see people with a wide range of issues and conditions as they usually do, and helping to reduce the impact of covid is vital to keeping all our NHS services running effectively. It is vital to reduce the spread of infections to protect our most vulnerable residents, such as those in care homes or being cared for at home. Each of us is playing an important part in keeping the spread of covid down, thank you, please keep washing hands, wearing a face covering and keeping a social distance. It really does help. Thanks for all your support.”

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