The steady decline in Covid-19 cases resumes - but still "a long way to go"
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Telford and Wrekin has declined by 32%, the latest weekly figures show.
This decline compares with a drop of only 1% during the previous week.
The infection rate remains higher than the regional and national average, but the fall is similar to the regional and national decline.
The vast majority of new infections remains in the working-age population.
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 28 February, the COVID-19 situation in the borough is:
• 227 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19
• This is a 32% decrease compared with last week's total of 335 cases*
• The seven-day infection rate for Telford and Wrekin is 126 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000
• For the West Midlands, the seven-day infection rate is 106 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000
• For England, the seven-day infection rate is 81 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000
• Sadly, five 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 245)
• There were 63 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in Telford and Shrewsbury hospitals, as of 28 February
*(this figure has been revised up from 334 last week)
Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin's Director for Public Health, said:
"I want to show my appreciation for the sacrifices our residents have made and continue to make to help control this virus. This decline is welcome news.
"The planned easing of lockdown restrictions gives us all hope after these challenging winter months for both our residents and local businesses.
"But it is essential to acknowledge that we still have a long way to go.
"Relaxing too early will cost lives, and new strains can develop, so we must all continue to play our part.
"In Telford and Wrekin, we are focusing on preventing the spread of the virus in workplaces.
"I want to encourage people who cannot work from home to get a rapid test at least twice a week.
"People self must isolate for the legal requirement of 10 days if they test positive or are close contacts of a colleague who tests positive.
"Also, avoid car-sharing where possible, follow hands-face-space when you're at work or on a break and make sure workspaces are ventilated.”
Liz Noakes, added: "As children return to the classroom I would also urge families to have a rapid test twice every week.
“Such testing will be vital in reducing local cases by containing outbreaks early.”
Cllr Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:
"It is so encouraging to hear that our local cases are falling in line with the regional and national average.
"However, Telford and Wrekin's infection rate remains the second-highest in the West Midlands.
"If we all pull together, we can drive down the levels of Covid-19 in the borough even more to save lives."