By Rachael Grealish
Coronavirus cases have had a sharp rise in Cumbria including a whopping 110 percent in Copeland, the latest figures have shown.
There were 3,489 new cases in Cumbria, an increase of 972 (+39 percent) from the 2,517 cases in the previous week with the biggest proportional increases in Copeland and Barrow-in-Furness – +110 percent and +84 percent respectively.
However, the figures show Carlisle had the greatest number of new cases (1,251) for the fourth week in a row – along with having the highest rate of new cases for the second week in a row.
Allerdale also joined Carlisle and Eden having case rates above the national and regional averages – but Carlisle, by far the highest rate, at almost double the national and regional average rates with 1,151 new cases per 100k population.
The 45-54 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria, followed closely by the 25-34 age group.
Cumbrian hospitals felt the strain again of the pandemic again this week as the number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status in North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) increased by 68 percent and 59 percent, respectively, from the previous week.
The average number of patients with COVID-19 in beds in NCIC also increased by 63 percent from the previous week, while the average number of patients with COVID-19 in beds in UHMB increased by 2 percent.
Unfortunately, there have been 25 deaths due to COVID-19 in the county (dating up until January 1) with the highest number of deaths in Carlisle and a total number of 10 care home deaths.
There are still a number of incidents and positive cases across all education settings and nurseries have had an increase in positive cases as they are able to remain open under the Lockdown 3 restrictions.
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “We remain in an extremely serious situation. In the very latest provisional data, there are some early signs that the rate of increase in new infections may be slowing, but the infection rate is still very high.
“Even if that trends continues, we can expect the very high numbers of people requiring hospital care, and increasing deaths, to continue for some weeks. This is putting our local NHS system under intense pressure.
“I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that we all follow the lockdown rules. The virus spreads when people come into contact, we must do everything we can to stop unnecessary contact with other people. Where being in contact with others is unavoidable, keep your distance, wear a mask, wash your hands – it does make a difference.”