Health chiefs are 'watching very closely' following the recent rise in Covid cases in South Tyneside.

A South Tyneside health boss says officials are monitoring the number of cases in the borough after seeing a spike in recent weeks.
The number of cases in South Tyneside passed 1,000 last week.The number of cases in South Tyneside passed 1,000 last week.
The number of cases in South Tyneside passed 1,000 last week.

It comes after the borough passed the landmark 1,000 figure for confirmed infections last week.

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Tom Hall, director of public health at South Tyneside Council, said: “That is the cumulative number of cases, but not the number of people with COVID-19 at this moment in time.


“It’s the number who have had it throughout the pandemic period, we’ve reached that milestone after we started to see the first cases in early March.

“It seems a lifetime ago that we saw the first cases, but at the same time it seems to have flown, as we’ve dealt with such changes in the national, regional and global picture.”

Hall was speaking at a meeting of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating and Call-in Committee on Tuesday, September 1, which was held remotely and broadcast via YouTube.

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Following a peak in April and May, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has stayed relatively low in South Tyneside since June, when it also fell below regional and national levels.

Previously the borough had been ranked, alongside neighbouring Sunderland and Gateshead, among the worst affected areas in the country.

But it tumbled down the national league table after changes to government reporting revealed significantly higher levels elsewhere in England.

During the peak of the pandemic there were 325 Covid-related deaths at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, which runs South Tyneside General Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.

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Responding to the recent rise in cases, Hall added: “We’ve had a jump in our case rate over the last two weeks.

“It’s something we’re watching very closely and is a concern for us to monitor locally, but we were starting from a very low position – we had one of the lowest seven-day rates in the region and in the country.

“We’re doing additional intervention work with pubs and restaurants, where we’ve seen cases associated with those establishments.”

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