Posted: 08.09.20 at 09:01 by Nick Hudson
BEDWORTH and beyond has been placed on a Covid-19 alert footing after ignoring social distancing is being blamed for a confirmed case of the virus following a visit to a pub and café.
Today’s concerns from Public Health Warwickshire come as Government ministers reportedly mull over whether to reduce the number of people allowed to meet indoors in England following a steep rise in virus infections.
New national rules are expected to be announced tomorrow which will mean a change to the current rules and guidance on gatherings in homes.
The latest development come as senior medical officers are warning coronavirus must be taken very seriously again or the UK will face “a bumpy ride over the next few months”.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the public had “relaxed too much” over the summer with the sharply rising number of cases – now nudging 3,000 on a daily basis – becoming a worrying trend.
The deputy chief medical officer for England said it was time to “re-engage” and realise that Covid is a “continuing threat to us”.
He urged politicians and public health officials to think how to manage the crisis not in the short term but through “the next six months and how we get through this until the spring”.
The national picture was reinforced locally with the Warwickshire “pub incident” which has left close contacts of the case having to be identified and asked to self-isolate and other customers present at the time of the case contacted.
While the pub – a 10-minute drive from Bedworth’s borders – had put measures in place to reduce risks to customers, it is also reliant on customers themselves being careful to maintain social distancing, said associate director of Public Health for Warwickshire Emily Van de Venter.
Ms Van de venter added: “In this case there were some concerns that social distancing was not adhered to by all customers.
“With more and more people now out in the community spending time with family and friends at local pubs and restaurants, local spikes are anticipated."
But she argued: “I would urge people not to be complacent.
“Keeping a social distance from others when visiting public houses, cafés and restaurants remains key to stopping the spread of the virus, as does wearing a face covering when out in public spaces and washing your hands regularly, especially when returning home from outside.
“We would also ask that when visiting your local public house or restaurant that you give your contact details, so that you can be contacted quickly should it be required.
“We know that no one would want to willingly spread the virus, especially to more vulnerable family and friends. So, make sure you get the early warning needed by giving your details.”
Bedworth remains one of the country’s hotspots for Covid fatality rates per head of capita despite seeing its official recorded death toll cut last week.
New Department of Health figures have seen the borough’s grim tally cut by 22 – to 145.
But that reduction – which saw Warwickshire’s new official death tally from Covid fall from 538 to 445 – has had no impact on the fatality rate per 100,000 population.
Bedworth and Nuneaton finds its death rate per capita of 111.6 per 100,000 people, putting the borough in NINTH place in a local authority league table which is topped by Hertsmere in Hertfordshire at 130.6 per 100,000. Neighbouring North Warwickshire is in 13th spot with a rate of 104.2.
Eleven days on from that news and Bedworth and Nuneaton have now recorded 956 coronavirus cases since the pandemic started in March – up 16 from 940 on August 28 – at a rate of 736 per 100,000 population.
Its death toll remains on 145.
The Warwickshire total for people testing positive has risen by 91 in the same time frame from 2,734 to 2,825 confirmed cases at a new rate per 100,000 population of 488.8.
One piece of welcome news sees the slowing down of the number of lives lost to coronavirus across the county.
Nub News previously revealed no deaths in the first two weeks of August after a “dreadful” June and July and since the beginning of the month until yesterday there has been one more Covid-related fatality in Warwickshire – the total now being 446.
On a UK footing, a further 2,948 lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported on Monday, following the 2,988 additional numbers on Sunday – both the largest daily figure since May.
The total number of confirmed cases in the UK has now passed 350,100 – with a seven-day rate of new UK cases having risen to 21.3 per 100,000 people, just above the threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 at which the Government considers imposing quarantine conditions on people travelling to the UK, if recorded in other countries.
Three new UK deaths were recorded in a 24-hour period, bringing the total to 41,554. There are 756 Covid patients in hospital, 69 of them on ventilators.