Health chiefs remain cautious as parts of South Tyneside see covid cases drop off the scale

New coronavirus cases are so low in some parts of South Tyneside they are not being registered in the public data.

Test and Trace workers
Test and Trace workers

The public have been urged to remember the ‘simple things’ needed to halt coronavirus infections while the vaccination roll out continues.

“I think both for the vaccination and the testing regime, it’s important to remember they’re not golden tickets,” said Tom Hall, director of public health at South Tyneside Council.

“They’re not reasons to stop doing the simple things people have got used to, like keeping the two-metre social distance; hand washing and face coverings.

“I think we’re still seeing situations where cases are arising in care homes and other settings where people have been vaccinated because nothing is 100% effective.

“It’s important to recognise, especially while a large proportion of the adult population is unvaccinated, that we need to keep doing those simple things.”

Hall was speaking at a meeting of South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which was held by videolink and broadcast via Facebook.

More than 69,000 adults in South Tyneside are believed to have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while about five per cent have now also had a second jab.

About 94% of the Government’s first cohort, covering the over 70 and health and social care staff, have had a first jab at least.

And ‘rapid progress’ is being made with the second group, mainly made up of people over the 60.

Transmission has even dropped so low in parts of the borough that, according to Hall, they no longer show up on the data made available to the general public.

But he also sounded a note of caution after a rise in cases in the weeks following the return of all pupils to school on March 8.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, chairman of the CCG, added: “Hands, face, space remains just as vital as it has been throughout the pandemic.”

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