The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Telford and Wrekin has nearly trebled in the past week, latest weekly figures show.
The infection rate is now higher than the peak for Telford and Wrekin seen in November and the rate in the over 60s has increased by 109% to 272 per 100,000.
For the week ending 6 January, 802 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 – a 192% rise compared with last week’s total of 275 cases. The seven day infection rate for Telford and Wrekin is 446 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000.
In the Shropshire Council area during the 7-day period from 25-31 December there were 70 new cases reported an increase of 443 cases compared to the previous week. The seven-day infection rate for Shropshire was 238.3 cases per 100,000 of the population.
For the West Midlands, the seven day infection rate is 548 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 and for England, the seven day infection rate is 608 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000.
There were 72 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in Telford and Shrewsbury hospitals, as of 3 January.
Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin’s Director for Public Health, said: “This is a dramatic rise in cases, it is crucial that residents stay at home and follow the ‘lockdown’ rules to protect the NHS at this critical time.
“People need to act like everyone has the virus, and that they may be carrying the virus themselves – 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 show no symptoms.
“This means regular hand washing, wearing of face coverings, and social distancing is crucial and must be adhered to 100% of the time.
“If you show any symptoms of coronavirus you must urgently self-isolate and get tested, getting a test is one of the reasons people can leave home in this lockdown.
“The rapid testing centre at the Place, Oakengates, is now open to any resident who is not displaying symptoms to get tested – especially those people who can’t avoid leaving home for work.
“In particular, we are calling on residents in seven of Telford and Wrekin’s wards to get a rapid test as rates in these wards exceed 550 per 100,000.
“If you live in Newport North & West, Apley Castle, Shawbirch, Horsehay & Lightmoor, Priorslee, Admaston & Bratton, and St Georges and are not showing any symptoms – please book a rapid test at the Place, Oakengates next week at http://rapidtest.telford.gov.uk/.
Liz Noakes, added: “It is not clear what exactly has caused our rates to escalate, but we suspect that the new variant is circulating within the borough and this has combined with mixing of households over Christmas to spread the virus.”
If you have any of the following symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you should book a test and not leave home for at least 10 days. If you have symptoms, book a test by calling 119 or at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.