Coronavirus: COVID-19 cases increase rapidly over Christmas period
During the seven-day period between 24-30 December 2021:
- 4,236 new COVID-19 cases reported
- An increase of 173% on the last reported figures (10-16 December)
- The 7-day infection rate for Shropshire was 1,301.7 per 100,000
- It was 1369.3 per 100,000 for the West Midlands, and 1519.7 for England
- 32 hospital beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients
- 3 COVID-19-related deaths in a local hospital.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:
“Unfortunately, as we start the new year, we have seen the number of cases in Shropshire increase rapidly, mirroring national and regional trends. There were 4,236 new COVID-19 cases reported between 24-30 December – the highest we’ve ever had in a single week. The number of people being treated in hospital for the virus is rising and the situation is undoubtedly putting pressure on our local hospitals and care system.
“Thanks to the phenomenal vaccine effort in December though, more people than ever are now fully vaccinated, giving themselves the best level of protection against COVID-19. More than 83% of the eligible population have received the booster jab, putting us as one of the highest in the country for vaccination rates. This is something we are incredibly proud of, but we must keep pushing now. There is still lots of availability for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and booster doses for bookings and walk ins.
“This year we must move forward and learn to live alongside Coronavirus safely. Testing, vaccinations, good hand hygiene, face coverings and proper ventilation will slow the spread of the virus and keep Shropshire safe.
“We are very aware that some people are having difficulty getting hold of lateral flow tests at the moment. This is a national issue because demand for testing is very high due the volume of cases and a change in guidance. We are doing all we can to ensure we have local supplies in Shropshire as well through the national postal route. Sites are available on the national test and trace map.
“All of our PCR testing sites also remain open across the county. Slots are released in batches throughout the day, so please keep trying if you are not successful in securing a local site the first time you try to book.”
Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said:
“COVID-19 is still with us as we’ve entered 2022, but I am confident we are in a much better position than last year thanks to the vaccine programme. The response to the booster campaign in December was incredible. Thank you to everyone involved, and to those who booked an appointment or attended a walk-in clinic to get boosted.
“As expected, the infection rate is very high following Christmas and New Year, as we all deservedly celebrated and spent time with our family and friends. Please think of the small things you can do to reduce the spread of the virus and keep safe.”