Devon suffering highest death rates of the pandemic

Owl thinks this needs to be read in conjunction with the earlier post indicating that half of the cases in Exeter ICU beds come from “out of area”.

There are concerns over the number of positive Covid cases in care homes and businesses in Devon, as the county experiences its highest death rates of the pandemic.

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com

Devon’s Director of Public Health has praised the efforts of residents in adhering to the lockdown restrictions as the infection rate in the county falls to its lowest in a month.

But despite a fall in the number of positive cases, across all age groups, Steve Brown has said there are still concerns about the numbers of people currently testing positive for coronavirus in care homes, and in some business settings.

And despite the fall in cases, this has yet to filter through into hospitals and deaths, which the county currently experiencing its highest death rates of the pandemic, although this will hopefully fall in line with the reduction in cases once the lag filters through.

Infection rates in Devon, as of January 26, are currently at 130.4 per 100,000 population, a fall of nearly half compared to the peak on January 8 of 223 per 100,000, and of all upper tier authority areas, is the third lowest in England. Not since December 28 have infected rates been as low as they are now.

Devon coronavirus cases by infection rates

Devon coronavirus cases by infection rates

Of the eight districts within Devon, all of them are in the bottom 21 of the 315 regions in Devon for infection rates, with Torridge the lowest, North Devon 2 nd , East Devon 5 th , South Hams 6 th , Exeter 10 th , Mid Devon 11 th , Teignbridge 13 th and West Devon 21 st . Torridge’s rate is now below 50 per 100,000.

But the age range in Devon where the highest infection rates are remain the over 90s (332 per 100,000 but falling), and councillors earlier this week heard that there were 12 care homes where they have not completed the vaccination programme because they were in the midst of significant outbreaks.

Those age 20-34 also have infection rates over the 200 per 100,000 mark, while the age range with the lowest infection rates are the 70-74 year-olds.

Devon coronavirus cases by age range

Devon coronavirus cases by age range

Mr Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, said: “The current restrictions are helping to bring down the number of positive cases in Devon. Devon residents are doing really well in adhering to the current lockdown restrictions, and we’re seeing evidence that their efforts are working. However, we must keep it up.

“We do have concerns about the numbers of people currently testing positive for coronavirus in care homes, and in some business settings.

“And there is continuing pressure on our hospitals, where we are seeing higher numbers of coronavirus-related deaths.”

All of Devon’s over 80s will have been invited to receive their vaccine by the end of the week, and every care home resident but those were outbreaks are occurring have received their vaccination, and Mr Brown added: “The roll out of the NHS vaccination programme is going well. More venues are opening up to provide greater capacity to vaccinate even greater numbers of people, and providing more choice for people about where they can receive their vaccination.

“We are also starting to pilot a system to provide rapid lateral flow tests to critical workers who are asymptomatic, in order prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Devon coronavirus cases by specimen dates

Devon coronavirus cases by specimen dates

“But while the vaccination is great news, it’s important that we do not think that once we’ve had it, we can go about like normal. The vaccination helps minimises the symptoms, but there’s no evidence yet that it stops a person catching and spreading the virus.

“Therefore it’s essential that everyone, even including those who have received their first jab, continues to adhere to the lockdown rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Continue to social isolate, wear face coverings when in public spaces, and wash your hands properly and regularly.

“Please remember, you must isolate if you are instructed to do so by NHS Test and Trace.”

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