South Shields MP warns local lockdown would be 'devastating' in call for public to follow rules
According to figures published on Thursday, September 3, South Tyneside now has fifth highest rate of new Covid-19 cases in England, prompting concerns that a local lockdown could be on the cards.
In a statement on Twitter, Ms Lewell-Buck – who has represented South Shields in Parliament since 2013 – called on families living across South Tyneside to “pull together” and obey social distancing to ensure people’s safety in the borough.
The rolling seven-day case rate for a location is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people in each council area.
Thursday’s figures show South Tyneside as having fifth-highest rate of infection in the country, with 78 new cases.
This is the equivalent of 51.7 new cases per 100,000 people.
Ms Lewell-Buck said: “It would be devastating for our local businesses, who have worked hard and acted responsibly, if we now entered into a local lockdown.”
"Many of them have told me that if they shut their doors again it will be permanent.
"Of course, we need to keep everyone safe but total lockdown should be the absolute last resort. We are not there yet.”
To date, there have been 1,072 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Tyneside.
At the borough’s hospital trust – which also covers Sunderland – 325 patients who tested positive for the virus have died.
This is the total for the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust as a whole, and there is no public breakdown of deaths per hospital.
In her statement on Friday, September 4, Ms Lewell-Buck said it was “critical” to understand where the majority of cases are to stop the spread.
She added: “If you can do so, please wear a mask. Sanitise regularly and adhere to physical distancing.
"Let’s avoid the heartache of anyone else being taken from us too soon, let’s avoid the devastation of our local economy.
"We can do this by pulling together.”