New COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions continue to fall in Cumbria, the latest figures reveal.
In the week ending February 12, infections were down 18 per cent from the week before.
But county council health chiefs say despite this being positive news, the number of new infections continues to be high in the context of the pandemic so far.
Admissions to hospitals run by North Cumbria Integrated Care decreased by 38 per cent, and admissions to the hospitals run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust decreased by 25 per cent from the previous week.
The average number of patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital beds also decreased from the previous week in both trusts – North Cumbria by 19 per cent and Morecambe Bay by 15 per cent.
But, the county council said, intensive care units were still exceptionally busy.
A statement said: “This continues to impact on hospitals’ ability to deliver routine care.
“It will take some time for the reduction in community cases to reduce the pressure in hospitals, but the numbers are moving in the right direction, largely thanks to the efforts of local people to follow the rules and guidance and helping to stop the spread.”
Claire King, public health consultant at Cumbria County Council, said: “The continued drop in new cases is good news and reflects the efforts people have been making to stick to the lockdown rules.
“But we need to put the numbers in context, for example last year Leicester went into full lockdown when there were 50 cases per 100,000 – and our infection rate in Cumbria is still three to four times that.
“So any notions that we can start to ‘take it easy’ are really wide of the mark – now is the time we need stay the course and drive infections right down.
“Only then can we be confident about getting back to normal. Judging by the current rate of decline, that prospect isn’t too far away, but we’ll only get there if people keep going and stick to the rules – we’re clearly seeing the benefits of that working.”
This week’s report shows:
- There were 721 new cases in Cumbria (a decrease of 155 – 18 per cent – from 876 cases in the previous week)
- Copeland overtook Allerdale in having the greatest number of new cases (+169 new cases)
- Copeland also overtook Allerdale in having the highest rate of new cases (248 new cases per 100,000 population)
- Rates in Copeland, Barrow-in-Furness and Allerdale were above the national average rate (England = 142 new cases per 100,000 population)
- Rates in Copeland were also above the regional average rate (North West = 183 new cases per 100,000 population)
- New cases decreased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts except Copeland and South Lakeland;
- In Copeland and South Lakeland cases increased by 55 per cent and 11 per cent respectively
- The 25-34 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria, followed closely by the,45-54, 55-64 and 35-44 age groups
- There were decreases in new cases in all age groups in Cumbria from the previous week