Concerns over the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has prompted Devon County Council’s leader to warn the county may not drop down to Tier 1 when the grades are reassessed.
[Isn’t a couple of weeks too soon after the transition from lockdown 2 to Tier2* to make any “meaningful” case? – Owl]
Anita Merritt www.devonlive.com
When the current tiered system is reviewed next Wednesday, December 16, some areas could move into a lower tier – while others may move up.
Authorities have a week to make their case for moving down a tier. The review will consider the opinions of local public health directors, with a final decision on whether any changes will take place being made at a cabinet committee.
Areas which are approved for tier changes will see the switch take place on December 19.
Devon County Council leader John Hart has shared concerns about the number of people still being tested positive for coronavirus in Devon, which is currently in Tier 2.
Yesterday, Devon Live reported the latest Covid figures for Devon show the total number of infections in Exeter over the past seven days now stands at 130 – continuing a steady downward trend in the city.
A total of 10 people tested positive, according to the latest data from Public Health England.
The ward with the highest infection rate in the city is Wonford and St Loyes, which has an infection rate of 253 per 100,000 people. Its 21 cases was unchanged on Monday.
Areas seeing an increase include St Leonard’s; Heavitree East & Whipton South; Central Exeter; and Exwick and Foxhayes.
It now means there have been 2,777 Covid-19 cases in Exeter since the pandemic started.
Exeter’s coronavirus case rate per 100,000 is currently 98.9. That is above the Devon county rate of 76.6.
The highest infection rate can currently be found in East Devon. Honiton North & East has 16 cases and a rolling rate of 264.6.
In North Devon all the wards have less than 10 cases. Figures in Torbay remain low. In Torridge, Holsworthy, Bradworthy and Welcome has seen nine new cases, taking the total to 21.
Cllr Hart said: “As much as I would like to see restrictions lifted a little in order to support our local tourism and hospitality industry, I fear case numbers are not yet coming down sufficiently to warrant a move to Tier 1.
“In particular, there is still real concern about positivity rates among older people and the pressure this could put on local hospitals.
“I fully recognise that there is a very fine and difficult balance to strike between lives and livelihoods here in Devon.
“If we are to stay in Tier 2 then I would like to see more support from the government for our hard pressed local businesses, and the hospitality trade in particular.
“While there will be the relaxation of tier restrictions between December 23 and 27 to enable families to get together for Christmas, we must all make sure we continue to make the right choices and do not drop our guard otherwise we will pay a heavy price in January with the inevitable prospect of tighter restrictions needed if numbers start to rise again.”