The director of public health for Cumbria is urging people to get vaccinated when they can as cases of the Delta variant rise dramatically in the county.
Colin Cox, the director of public health for Cumbria, has cited a sharp rise in cases since the end of May as cause for concern.
According to Mr Cox the infection rate stood at seven per 100,000 at the end of May and has now reached more than 50 per 100,000 cases.
He explained: “At the moment the Delta variant is responsible for the vast majority of cases.
“It’s absolutely right that cases have been going up dramatically in the last couple of weeks. It has been exponentially rising.”
The Delta variant seems to be more prominent in teenagers and younger adults, and Mr Cox says this is down to vaccinations.
“The vast majority of cases we are seeing at the moment are in younger people,” he added.
“That’s not a surprise because it’s the younger generation that hasn’t been vaccinated yet or has just started to be vaccinated.
“The highest numbers are in the 12 to 30-year-old age group. So, it’s really important that we take whatever action we can at an early stage to try and clamp down on this before the case rates get any higher.
“We are now encouraging anyone ages 12 to 30 to go and get themselves tested for Covid even if they’ve not go any symptoms.
“They can get tested at one of our local testing centres and get a PCR test not just a lateral flow test.”
In Cumbria at the moment hospital admissions remain low, although a small number of admissions are “creeping in.”
However, Mr Cox explained that these do lag behind the case rates, but hopes this figure will still remain low in what looks to be the third wave.
Mr Cox thinks delaying lockdown was the best course of action.
“I know that will be frustrating for a lot of people, but you only need to look at what’s happened in other parts of the North West, in places like Bolton and Blackburn, where the case rates were more than 500 per 100,000 per week and we do not want anywhere else to end up in that position,” he added.
“It is the case that the restrictions in place are much more relaxed than they once were. People can still meet friends in smaller groups and in larger groups outside.
“There is still a lot people can do. But given the way the Delta variant is pushing cases up and that hospital admissions are starting to go up generally, and we haven’t finished the vaccine rollout, I think it’s absolutely right to take that pause and not rush into the next stage of releasing the restrictions.
Mr Cox is pleading with people to get vaccinated when they are called on, and when the time comes to get your second dose too.
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