There are fears of a huge Covid spike in Torquay as teenagers returning home from Newquay’s Boardmasters festival at the weekend report that “everyone is testing positive”.
It seemed to Owl that the Boardmasters festival was always going to be a super spreading event waiting to happen. We wait to see just how big a spike it generates and whether it can be contained.
Colleen Smith www.devonlive.com
The 16 and 17 year olds also reported that people who suspected they had Covid while at the festival were skipping tests on Friday organised to detect people carrying the virus in the 50,000 strong crowds.
Health officials say that data is being monitored from the Festival that finished last Sunday and results should be available later this week.
One Torquay grandmother said: “I want to warn everybody to be careful in Torbay because we are about to get a huge Covid spike.
“The young people are all coming back from Boardmasters festival and testing positive with Covid. My grandaughter is at Torquay Girls Grammar School and lots and lots of her friends are all testing positive.”
A 17-year-old Torquay Boys’ Grammar School pupil from Newton Abbot said everybody in his group of 10 who hadn’t been vaccinated came back with Covid – plus one person who had been vaccinated. He said that out of 30 who went – at least 15 to 20 have since tested positive.
The grandmother, who didn’t want to be named, said: “They have all been to Boardmasters and on Tuesday every one of them who went has tested positive. I was horrified when my grandaughter told me.
“These are mainly 16 to 17 year olds and they were all celebrating after getting their GCSE results.
“What I want to warn people about is that the numbers in Torbay are going to go very high and I want everyone to be aware.”
A 17-year old from Newton Abbot who attends Torquay Boys’ Grammar School said: “All the people in my group who hadn’t been vaccinated came back with it.
“Even one who had been vaccinated had a positive PCR – it spread through pretty much everyone.
“In my group there were 10 of us and I know about 30 who went and I would say at least 15 to 20 have since tested positive.
“I started to have a sore throat before I left, obviously it was hard to know at the time whether you have caught Covid or not but 100 per cent Monday I was feeling under the weather.
“Everyone realised they had it after they got back. They had a thing on Friday (the third day) when everyone was retested and I heard it showed about 1,000 came forward as positive.
“But there were loads who had it but didn’t come forward because they wanted to stay until the end of the festival. Everyone was quite aware about it and it and the tests coming back positive.”
Andrew Topham, CEO of Vision Nine – the company behind Boardmasters – said before the event organisers had put everything in place to minimise the risk.
Mr Topham said organisers went “above and beyond what was asked of us” by implementing its own Covid-19 policy.
Staycationers are thought to be a key reason for the general rise as Brits head to UK beaches rather than contend with the hassle of travelling abroad.
Newquay, where the festival took place, had 182 new positive tests between August 5 and 11.
In the seven days up to August 13 Newquay East’s infection rate rose to 1,123.8 per 100,000 which is higher that cities like London and Manchester.