Cumbria’s new COVID-19 Health Protection Board has today published the first of what will be weekly updates on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cumbria.
The report draws together publicly available data to provide an overview of the number and rate of new COVID-19 cases and contact tracing activity.
The update includes the latest data for Carlisle, which last week prompted Public Health leaders to issue a warning for people to ensure they were following the guidance fully to stop further infection spread.
The Carlisle latest data shows a further 21 cases in the week ending 10 July, in addition to the 19 new cases in the preceding week.
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “It’s important that the public have access to clear information about what is going on and can act accordingly. Apart from Carlisle, Cumbria is seeing very low numbers of new infections and this is good news. But Carlisle continues to be of concern, with significantly higher numbers of new infections than other districts.
“Along with partners we have been working hard to trace contacts of new cases and to understand the pattern of infection and we are in a better position. The infection data for next week will be critical in informing decisions about whether we need to change the advice to people in the Carlisle area. We are hopeful that the steps we have taken will see the number of infections fall. For the time being we are still urging people to follow the existing advice carefully and remember that this is a highly infectious disease that can spread rapidly.”
The key public health messages are:
- Wash or sanitise hands regularly
- Observe social distancing rules
- Wear face masks or coverings in enclosed public spaces
- If you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested
- Follow advice to self-isolate if asked
Following examples on Carlisle’s Botchergate last weekend where social distancing was not observed, people are also being reminded that it is possible to be infected and be spreading the virus without having any symptoms.
Colin Cox continued: “I’d like everyone to remember that it’s not just about whether they get infected, it’s also about whether they could be spreading infection without knowing it to friends and family who might be more vulnerable. Following the public health guidance is the best way to stop this happening and I hope people will think about that carefully when they are out socialising.”
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities and Chair of the Cumbria Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “A lot has been happening since we issued the warning for Carlisle last Friday, but really we won’t know until next week whether the numbers are heading back in the right direction. We absolutely have to be vigilant and everyone has an equal part to play in controlling the spread of the virus. None of us want to see a return of lockdown restrictions, so we just need to work together as a community.”
The weekly COVID-19 status report is published at: www.cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread