Has a second lockdown helped bring South Tyneside's coronavirus case rate under control?
South Tyneside’s coronavirus case rate has fallen sharply during the second nationwide lockdown.
A second lockdown was imposed across England on November 5, amid concerns the Government’s three tier coronavirus alert system was failing to stem the rise in cases nationwide.
The new regulations come to an end this Wednesday, December 2 – at which point South Tyneside and the entire North East will be placed onto tier three of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions.
During lockdown, people were told to remain at home unless they had to leave for work, education, to shop for essentials or exercise.
Support and childcare bubbles remained in place and people were still able meet up in their bubble but non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues were ordered to close and bars, pubs and restaurants were only allowed to offer takeaway services.
The latest figures suggest the second lockdown has been successful in getting to grips with the rising number of coronavirus cases on South Tyneside.
The borough had recorded a total of 5,693 coronavirus cases on Sunday, November 29, a rise of 367 on the 5,326 cases which had been confirmed a week earlier on November 22.
That is a reduction of more than a third from the number of new cases confirmed in the borough during the first week of lockdown.
There were 4,562 confirmed cases in South Tyneside on November 12, a rise of 586 on the 3,976 on the day lockdown started.
The weekly infection rate has also fallen during lockdown.
The rate for the seven days to November 23 (the last four days’ figures are excluded in case of inaccuracy) was 320.6 per 100,000 people, a fall of 91.4 on the 412 a week earlier.
By contrast, the rate rose in the first seven days of lockdown.
There were 252.4 cases in the seven days to October 31 (the weekly rate cut-off for the day lockdown started), which rose to 368.3 a week later, a jump of 115.9 more new cases per 100,000 people each week.
The sad news, though, is that the borough’s coronavirus death rate has risen during lockdown.
The South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust recorded 15 virus-related deaths in the seven days after November 5.
But there were 22 virus-related fatalities in the trust in the seven days before November 29.