By Rachael Grealish
New COVID-19 cases increased in Cumbria, by almost a fifth, the latest statistics show.
Released today, Thursday April 1, there were 134 new cases in Cumbria – an increase of 20, or 18 percent, from 114 cases in the previous week.
Allerdale had the greatest number of new cases with 36 new cases, but it was Copeland which had the largest percentage increase of new cases – up by 480 percent, however this was only 24 new positive Coronavirus cases up from the previous week.
Copeland replaced Barrow-in-Furness in having the highest rate of new cases, with 43 new cases per 100k population.
However, rates in all Cumbrian districts were below both the national and regional average rates – 55 and 66 new cases per 100k population respectively.
New cases also increased in Allerdale and Carlisle (24 percent and 14 percent respectively), however, it should be noted that numerically these increases were small.
Although, new cases are on the decrease from the previous week in Barrow-in-Furness, Eden and South Lakeland.
Up to Friday, March 19, unfortunately a further seven people lost their lives to the virus across the county.
The statistics showed the number of COVID-19 related death registrations decreased while death occurrences increased slightly, however again, numerically this increase was small.
The 12-18 age group accounted for the greatest number and rate of new cases in Cumbria, this has been speculated to be the result from children going back to school.
The 5-11, 12-18, 19-24, 40-49 and 50-59 age groups also all experienced increases in new cases from the previous week.
However, there was just one new case seen in the 80+ age group (from 5 cases in the previous week), the greatest proportional decrease by age group in Cumbria of 80 percent.
Commenting on the figures Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, told The Herdwick News: “In terms of the cases, overall our case rates have stayed pretty stable at around 25/100k/week for about three weeks now.
“There has been some variability around the County but that’s what you’d expect with low numbers – even a small outbreak can make a big difference to rates when the overall numbers are low.
“So given that we’ve now had schools fully re-opened for three weeks it’s encouraging to see that there hasn’t been a significant rise in transmission. It’s too early to see any impact from Monday’s change to the national regulations.
“It’s really important that people continue to follow the guidance as we go into the Easter weekend in order to keep the transmission down.”
Pressure has increased on hospitalisations under the North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) NHS trust as the number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status increased by 67 percent from the previous week, however numerically this increase was small.
But things seem to have a more positive note for hospitals under the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) as the number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status decreased by 63 percent from the previous week.
The average number of patients with COVID-19 in beds decreased from the previous week in both NCIC and UHMB (by 29 percent and 34 percent respectively).
As for Cumbria’s vaccination roll out, figures show over 238,000 people in the county (57 percent of the adult population) have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Both Allerdale and South Lakeland have got 60 percent plus of their adult population vaccinated with their first dose of either the Pfizer or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
And the remaining boroughs have given over 50 percent of their adult population the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – these figures are up to March 25.
Cumbria’s Director of Public Health as of March 31 around 270,000 adults in Cumbria had received their first dose of a vaccine.