Transmission in workplaces a concern in Telford and Wrekin
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Telford and Wrekin has stubbornly refused to drop, the latest weekly figures show.
Infection rates have declined by only 2%, while the regional and national average continues to drop more quickly.
The latest data for the week ending 21 February shows that eight out of every ten new infections are in the working-age population. Data suggests workplace transmission is keeping local figures stubbornly high.
Local health leaders are calling on people in workplaces to get tested regularly and sending a reminder that employees must self-isolate when required.
For the week ending 21 February, the COVID-19 situation in the borough is:
• 334 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19
• This is a 2% decrease compared with last week’s total of 340 cases*
• The seven-day infection rate for Telford and Wrekin is 186 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000
• For the West Midlands, the seven-day infection rate is 156 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000
• For England, the seven-day infection rate is 116 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000
• Sadly, 10 people in the borough have died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test in the past week (bringing the total borough deaths to 241)
• There were 81 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in Telford and Shrewsbury hospitals, as of 21 February
*(this figure has been revised up from 336 last week)
Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin’s Director for Public Health, said: “Looking at local cases, we can see that transmission in the workplace is a reason why our infection rate is not falling as quickly when compared to other areas.
“It’s vital that people who cannot work from home get a rapid test every at least twice a week.
“We have several rapid test centres across the borough where you can get results in 30 minutes. A rapid test can provide peace of mind to let you know your family is safe.
“It is especially important the people who test positive or are close contacts self isolate for 10 days – which is a legal requirement.
“Another way that working-age people can avoid spreading the virus is to avoiding car-sharing where possible. Following hands-face-space when you’re at work or on a break remains the best way to prevent the spread in the workplace as well.”
Cllr Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Overall, our numbers have declined, and the NHS locally has hit its targets on vaccinations, which is excellent news.
“However, our infection rates have not fallen in line with the West Midlands and England averages. We need to stop this trend to keep people safe.
“There will continue to be new cases, even with the vaccination rollout. But we cannot let our guard down. The end of lockdown is in sight but we need to stay the course so that restrictions can be lifted as planned and on time.
Cllr Andy Burford, added: “The council is working hard to provide constant support to employers in the borough to make workplaces safe.
“We can help ensure employers know what to do if they have a case of Coronavirus, how to identify contacts of cases in the event of an outbreak, and the importance of encouraging contacts to self-isolate.
“Any employer who would like to seek support in reviewing their practice should email our Health Protection Hub - firstname.lastname@example.org.