‘Significant jump’ in Covid-19 cases in West Berkshire

THERE has been a “significant jump” in Covid-19 cases in West Berkshire following outbreaks at a police station and a care home.

That was the message from Matt Pearce, head of public health at West Berkshire Council, who said another 23 cases have been recorded over the past seven days.

He said “a large number of those” were recorded during outbreaks at a Thames Valley Police station in Newbury and a unamed care home.

His comments came at a meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board on Friday, September 25.

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According to the latest figures, 583 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in West Berkshire during the pandemic and 133 have died after contracting the virus.

In the week ending September 20, West Berkshire’s seven-day infection rate rose to 10.1 cases per 100,000 people, which is well below the national average of 37.8.

And around one per cent of Covid-19 tests in West Berkshire are coming back positive.

But Mr Pearce said there has been a concerning rise in the number of cases over the last seven days.

Mr Pearce said: “There has been a slight upturn, but we have to realise that we are doing a lot more testing and our positivity rate is still relatively low.

“We haven’t recorded any deaths of late and that’s positive.

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“That reflects the picture nationally where the majority of infection cases have been in the younger age groups.

“However, we are starting to see more transmission to adults and older people.”

“We do have the same level of evidence as they do nationally, in terms of younger people making up a higher proportion of cases at this moment in time.

“But it’s important that we don’t victimise them. Everyone has a role to play.”

He added: “We have to continue with the measures that we know work.

“The three measures I constantly talk about is washing hands, keeping space and wearing a mask.”

Mr Pearce also said the strained NHS Test and Trace service continues to prioritise areas of concern, which have high numbers of confirmed cases.

Reading Chronicle