23rd Oct, 2020

Council bosses express concern as coronavirus cases more than double in Coventry

COUNCIL bosses say Coventry may become an ‘area of concern’ and extra restrictions imposed if the number of positive Covid-19 cases continues to rise.

The city’s leaders are growing increasingly concerned about a sustained rise in the number of new cases. Over the past two weeks, the number of cases per 100,000 of the population in the city has risen from 30 to 72. In the last seven days up to September 28 there were 269  – 127 more than the previous week.

They say the pattern of the number of positive cases has changed from outbreaks in specific areas to more widespread community transmissions. Although the number is still lower than in other towns and cities that have seen restrictions imposed, including Birmingham, Manchester and Solihull, the continual and sustained rise means Coventry has closed the gap on such towns and cities that are listed as ‘areas of concern’.

Becoming an ‘area of concern’ would mean extra measures put in place to stop the spread, including a ban on different households mixing in homes and gardens.

Coun George Duggins, Coventry City Council, leader said: “Everyone in Coventry has a role to play in the fight against coronavirus.

“I know we have been following the national advice for a long time now, but we must continue to protect each other – it is as important now as it has ever been.

“If we can do that and act responsibly, then hopefully we can reverse, or at least slow, this concerning rise in numbers.”

Liz Gaulton, director of Public Health for the city, added: “In Coventry we have not seen the same high figures as other cities have, but our numbers have been rising steadily week by week and putting us very near the point where restrictions may be imposed.

“It is also the case now that infection rates are rising across the city and not just in isolated areas as we had seen before.

“We know residents and businesses have worked very hard and none of us want to see tighter controls and all that hard work undone, so we need people to do all they can to stop these rising numbers.”

Around 14 million people in the UK are now subject to extra restrictions, including virtually every local authority in the West Midlands

People across England are now legally required to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus or are contacted by the test and trace service and this week tough new fines have been introduced for those who fail to do so.

Fines start at £1,000 and will increase up to £10,000 for repeat offenders or serious breaches, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

To help protect yourself, your family and others, and support the work of our health and care professionals, follow some simple steps:

1) Follow social distancing rules

2) Wash your hands regularly and use tissues when you cough or sneeze

3) Know what to do if you have symptoms

4) Follow the advice to self-isolate

5) Wear a face mask or covering when in a confined indoor space, when shopping and on public transport, unless you are exempt through health or work reasons

6) Leave your Test and Trace details when at social venues

If you need to take a test, apply online on GOV.UK. Or call 119 if you have problems using the internet. For all the latest advice, see the Council website at coventry.gov.uk

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