Coronavirus updates for Essex on Gateway 97.8

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County Council calls on residents to stop the spread

10th December 2020
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

Essex residents are been urged to work from home where possible and follow the rules on social distancing as the Covid-19 rate across Essex has surged to 169.4 per 100,000 per week, a further increase on the previous week’s figures.

In the seven days up to 3 December, there were 2,523 confirmed cases of Covid in Essex. 

The situation is particularly worrying in Basildon with one of the highest rates nationally. The rate of infection in Basildon is expected to climb still higher.

Other places that had rates that had been low or falling have also started to see some early increase although the overall rates in these areas are not a matter of concern. Across most of the country rates are dropping, with the exception of London and Kent.

The key age group for growth has been in the 0-17 age group, although rates in older people have increased slightly

There have also been more hospital beds occupied with Covid patients, with increasing occupancy notably in Basildon Hospital and Southend Hospital. 

As of 8 December, there were 352 beds occupied by confirmed Covid patients in Essex hospital trusts. This equates to 12% of total trust capacity and is 30% higher compared to bed occupancy one week previous (1 December). 

The number of Covid-19 patients at Princess Alexandra Hospital has remained stable, while the numbers in Broomfield remains quite low, and in Colchester Hospital have dropped considerably.

The County Council has introduced new fast Lateral Flow Tests to Basildon this week, with an expansion in the service and new sites coming on stream in the coming weeks before Christmas.

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Essex County Council, said: “Our regional leads in Public Health have reassured us that Essex is undertaking every action it can to stem this increase.

“But any action we take absolutely needs to be underpinned by residents paying their part, through social distance, work from home, and self-isolate if you have symptoms.

“The Government will shortly review Essex Tier 2 status, and we are determined to avoid entry into Tier 3 but this will only be achieved if residents help us by following the rules. Now is the time to come pull together as a county to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, and avoid the threat of further restrictions.”