Public health bosses have explained why one particular area of Staffordshire has one of the worst rates of Covid Infections in the country.
Stafford North East – which includes the stretch between Corporation Street and Beaconside, as well as Crooked Bridge Road and part of the Weston Road, had 1,055.5 positive Covid tests per 100,000 people in the week leading to December 10.
The national average is 196.3.
However, public health bosses have urged residents not to be alarmed – and have revealed the outbreak is not in the community, but in Stafford Prison and care homes, reports StaffordshireLive.
Staffordshire County Council health boss Dr Richard Harling said: “The rate of cases in Stafford appears higher due to reported cases in Stafford Prison and in some care homes.
“These are being both managed and contained and the risk of the spread of infection to the wider community is very low. When you take these into account the rate in Stafford is well below the county average.
“While no area of Stafford borough has currently been identified as a Covid hotspot, due to an increase in cases, it is important that we all stick to the rules and work together to bring cases down.”
It comes as the tier system in Stafford was reviewed in Parliament earlier in the week, with Staffordshire remaining in Tier 3, the highest level of lockdown.
Council care boss Dr Johnny McMahon said: “With cases on the rise as we head to the easing of restrictions over Christmas it is important that we get back on top of the situation In Staffordshire.”
It comes as some areas of Staffordshire, such as Newcastle-under-Lyme, Branston, Caverswall and North Cannock, have been identified as covid-19 hot spots.
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Dr McMahon said: “By acting swiftly to test people without symptoms in these areas we can stop the spread and look forward to getting back to the things we all enjoy.
“So, it is a very simple plea I would like to make – if you live or work in a hotspot area please book a test immediately.”
In addition to this, Councillor Jack Kemp (Lab), councillor for Coton said: “I am concerned with any area within the town that has high rates, and I urge people in all areas of Stafford to stick with the suggestions of the government, that everyone should be keeping in line with the regulations such as social distancing.”