Concerns raised as Hartlepool's coronavirus rates become 'persistently stuck'

Concerns have been raised by health chiefs over Covid-19 rates becoming “persistently stuck” as they aim to reduce transmission ahead of lockdown restrictions being lifted.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:43 pm

Craig Blundred Hartlepool director of public health, said it is “slightly concerning” the Covid-19 rate in the town is not dropping below the 100 cases per 100,000 of the population mark.

Yet he did note there were positives in that the rate had not as feared increased after children returned to school.

Mr Blundred said the Covid-19 weekly rate in Hartlepool has dropped from around the 780 cases per 100,000 mark in January to around 100 although it needs to drop further.

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Craig Blundred, director of public health in Hartlepool
Craig Blundred, director of public health in Hartlepool

He said: “We’ve come down quite significantly, but one of the things we’re seeing at the moment is we’re persistently stuck around the 100 to 130 mark and have been for several days at the moment and it seems to suggest sustained transmission at the moment.

“It’s persistently holding at the level despite all of the things that we’re doing and I think it’s going to be challenging to be able to get below that.

“I think one of the the slight concerning things we have is we’ve seen other parts of the North East have dropped quite significantly down below 100 but we haven’t really got that far yet.

“So I think there’s a lot of things we need to look at in terms of additional measures to put in place to see if we can bring that down even further.”

He added the lowest level it has reached to date is around 109 cases per 100,000 of the population.

However Mr Blundred, speaking at the Hartlepool outbreak control engagement working group on Tuesday, said it was positive that children returning to schools had not led to a feared spike in cases.

He said: “One of my concerns was we really wanted to get the case rate down as low as possible prior to schools reopening and going back because we were anticipating seeing a spike in the number of cases

“We were anticipating that as schools were testing more and more pupils, we would start to see an increase in the number of cases.

“That hasn’t happened and we’re not seeing at the moment high numbers of cases coming through schools, so that’s quite a positive.”

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