Call for everyone in South Tyneside to do their bit after 'rapid increase' in covid cases

A council chief has called for people in South Tyneside to continue doing their bit in the fight against Covid following a “rapid increase” in positive cases.
People in South Tyneside have been asked to continue doing their bit.People in South Tyneside have been asked to continue doing their bit.
People in South Tyneside have been asked to continue doing their bit.

Councillor Anne Hetherington, cabinet member for independence and wellbeing, gave a report on the current situation around coronavirus at a full council meeting this week.

The update covered a wide range of topics, from the impact of the ‘delta variant’ in the borough to the proactive prevention work being carried out in local communities.

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Cllr Hetherington told the meeting: “You will know the North East and South Tyneside faces increasing numbers of coronavirus infections, largely driven by the variant of concern named delta.

Councillor Anne HetheringtonCouncillor Anne Hetherington
Councillor Anne Hetherington

“The spread of the delta variant has led the government to delaying England’s move to step four of the road map which means we must continue to live with restrictions until at least July 19.

“In South Tyneside, there were 203 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported between June 12-18, this equates to 135 per 100,000 population.

“It’s an increase of 118 reported during the previous week, incidentally the national average at the moment is 65.

“This rapid increase follows a period of relatively low numbers since the beginning of April and the delta variant has been shown to be significantly more transmissible and has led to rapidly increasing cases, in the main, isolated to younger vaccinated populations.

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“Although the number of cases is increasing, thankfully at this time we are not seeing the impact on hospital or adult social care pressures but we will of course keep this under close review with our partners.”

The comments were made at a full council meeting on June 24.

Cllr Hetherington said partnership work in response to the pandemic was ongoing, with South Tyneside Council working closely with other local authorities, the NHS, businesses and the third sector.

The borough currently has three symptomatic testing sites, asymptomatic testing in businesses, schools and the wider community and enhanced local testing and tracing.

Councillors were also told about business support, the success of the borough’s vaccination programme and the Covid Community Champions recruited to work with communities to improve uptake of the vaccine.

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Cllr Hetherington thanked all key workers, voluntary groups, council officers, public health staff and the wider public for their efforts in the fight against Covid-19.

But she stressed everyone “still had a role to play” to bring down the rate of new infections and prevent new Covid variants from emerging.

The council boss added: “So please can I urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccine and keep acting in line with the public health guidance as it changes to meet the circumstances and together we will beat Covid.”

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