By Rachael Grealish
New COVID cases rise among youngsters just as the vaccine rollout for 12-15 year olds is set to get underway, the latest figures show.
According to statistics released today, Thursday September 16, over 2,000 new cases were recorded by week ending Friday, September 10.
There were 2,001 new cases in Cumbria – this is an increase of 95, or five percent, from 1,906 cases in the previous week.
Although a relatively small rise in cases, this is part of a sustained upward trend which has seen cases rises each week since the end of July.
The 12-18 age group accounted for by far the greatest number and rate of new cases in Cumbria (393 new cases = 1,073 new cases per 100k population).
This could be down to the knock on effect of children returning to school over the past couple of weeks.
But comes just as the vaccine has been approved for the 12-15 age group – which uptake is being encouraged by Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox.
Mr Cox said: “As cases amongst younger age groups rise, it’s important to remember that although the chances of young people falling ill or being hospitalised as a result of COVID-19 is low, it’s not impossible and the virus may then spread to more vulnerable family members.
“You may have heard the government’s announcement this week that 12-15-year-olds will now be offered the vaccine and I welcome this news.
“With this added protection for younger people I hope we can avoid as much unnecessary disruption to our children’s education this winter as we can.
“Schools will begin circulating vaccine consent forms to parents from today and I urge parents to sign and return their forms as soon as possible so the vaccination rollout can begin swiftly.
“Furthermore, despite the vaccine rollout amongst this age group, it remains increasingly important students are tested regularly where possible to protect themselves, their families and school staff.
“LFT kits are free and readily available either from your local pharmacist or by ordering them from the government website.”
However, cases increased in all age groups except the 12-18, 19-24, 30-39 and 40-49 age groups.
The 5-9 age group experienced the greatest numerical and proportional increase in new cases (56 percent).
New cases in the under 50 age group accounted for 71 percent of total new cases (compared to 73 percent in the previous week).
The rate of cases in the under 50 age group was 2.2 times higher than the rate of cases in the 50+ age group (compared to 2.4 times higher in the previous week).
New cases in the under 50 age group increased by 2 percent, compared to 12 percent increase in the 50+ age group.
Along with the age groups, new cases increased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts except Barrow-in-Furness, but it was Allerdale which recorded the most.
For the sixth week in a row Allerdale had the greatest number of new cases, with 501.
Allerdale also had the highest rate of new cases for the 2nd week in a row (512 new cases per 100k population).
Rates in all Cumbrian districts except South Lakeland were above the regional average (North West 354 new cases per 100k population).
Furthermore, rates were above the national average in every Cumbrian district (England 309 new cases per 100k population);
Carlisle experienced the greatest numerical and proportional increases of 22 percent.
Deaths remain low in the county however, according to statistics released by GOV.uk, nine more deaths were recorded by week ending Wednesday September 15.
Deaths were recorded in Copeland, Carlisle, South Lakeland, Barrow and Allerdale.
The number of new patients admitted to hospital with a COVID-19 Positive status increased by 16 compared to the previous week.
Data up to Wednesday, September 15, shows 88 percent of Cumbrian’s aged 16+ have now received their first dose and 83 percent their second.
There currently isn’t data for the 12-15 age group.
The full list of statistics can be viewed here.