'Do your bit' plea as South Tyneside continues to have highest weekly covid case rate in the country
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Latest figures released on Monday, July 12, show South Tyneside had 2,052 new cases in the seven days to July 8, the equivalent of 1,359.2 per 100,000 people.
This is up sharply from 691.5 in the seven days to July 1.
It is the highest rate recorded anywhere in England since January 10, when Knowsley in Merseyside recorded a rate of 1,367.5.
Other parts of the North East are not far behind, with Sunderland in third place, followed by Gateshead, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, County Durham and North Tyneside. North East Lincolnshire is in second place.
Tom Hall, director of public health at South Tyneside Council, described rising rates in the region as being driven by the more transmissible Delta variant, with cases appearing mainly in unvaccinated people.
On confirming the lifting of restrictions, Mr Johnson urged people to exercise “extreme caution” and “personal responsibility” when legal controls to limit the spread of coronavirus end – including observing guidance and being considerate on the issue of masks and social-distancing.
Mr Hall said: “We are seeing a rapid rise in the number of infections across South Tyneside, and across the region, in predominantly unvaccinated people, driven by the more transmissible Delta variant.
"Hospital admissions are rising, although at a much slower rate than during earlier phases of the pandemic.
"If we are to drive down this worrying trend, then it is vital that everyone continues to play their part. The covid vaccines have been shown to be highly effective, so we are doing all we can to encourage people to get both doses. By getting vaccinated, people are doing right by themselves and their communities.”
He added: “We’re continuing to work with communities, schools and businesses to ensure they’re prepared and doing everything they can to help protect the most vulnerable.
“We are also encouraging people to continue to follow the public health guidance around hands, face, space and fresh air – even beyond July 19.
"Each and every one us needs to take personal responsibility to follow the guidance and avoid making it easy for the virus to spread. "
Public Health England figures revealed on Friday, July 9, showed 797 cases of the Delta variant – first identified in India – had been recorded in South Tyneside by July 7.
That was 246 more than the 551 cases recorded the week before.
As of July 6, the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation trust was caring for 28 coronavirus patients in hospital.
The number of recorded coronavirus cases in South Tyneside jumped by 802 over the weekend, according to official figures.
The health body recently changed the way it records the figures.
Cases identified through a positive lateral flow test – those which can deliver results within half an hour – will no longer be counted if the person then takes a PCR test, which is sent to a lab to be checked, and receives a negative result within three days.