North Cumbrian Hospitals Feel The Pressure Of The Pandemic With A 31% Rise In New COVID-19 Patients

By Rachael Grealish

New COVID-19 cases in Cumbria decreased by 50 percent in the last week, but pressure was put on the NHS with a jump in new positive cases.

According to statistics released today, Thursday March 11, pressure increased on hospitals in north Cumbria as the number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status increased from the previous week in North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) by 31 percent.

However, the pressure eased among hospitals in south of the county as the number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status decreased from the previous week in University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) by 14 percent.

The statistics also showed the average number of patients with COVID-19 in beds decreased from the previous week in both NCIC and UHMB by 31 percent and 20 percent respectively.

There were 186 new cases countywide – a decrease from the 370 cases in the previous week.

Allerdale had the greatest number of new cases for the third week in a row – with 48 new cases.

Copeland replaced Allerdale in having the highest rate of new cases with 63 new cases per 100k population.

However, rates in all Cumbrian districts were below the regional average rate North West – which is 75 new cases per 100k population.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “These figures are really encouraging and show how effective the lockdown restrictions have been in driving down infections. We’re now at levels last seen in early autumn.

“The big change this week is pupils returning to school and we will be watching the data closely to see what impact this has.

“At the moment we’re on track in terms of the Government’s roadmap, but looking back to last year we know how quickly the situation could change if we do not stay on our guard and keep doing all the basic things – hands, face, space – to reduce spread. The big message is keep going, stick to the rules and we’ll get through this soon.”

The greatest proportional decrease was in Eden, with 85 percent, and the smallest proportional decrease was in Barrow-in-Furness with 12 percent.

Unfortunately, a further 31 people died, up to March 6, due to the virus – although this is a 50.7 percent decrease from the previous week there has been a total of 604 deaths in the county since the start of 2021.

Once again Allerdale had the greatest number of Coronavirus deaths out of all the boroughs and all of the deaths which occurred in Copeland were in care homes.

Over 173,200 people throughout the county have now received their first dose of either the Pfizer or Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine this is 41 percent of Cumbria’s adult population.

South Lakeland has given out the greatest number of first doses – but overall, across the county, over 90 percent of people over 70 have received their first dose.

The 25-34 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria, followed by the 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64 age groups.

The greatest proportional decreases were seen in the 0-4, 65-74, and 5-11 age groups, where new cases decreased by 88 percent, 70 percent and 69 percent respectively.

Lastly, the number of tests conducted weekly continued to grow, up to 40,454, as Lateral Flow Testing becomes more widespread via schools and employers.