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Covid-19 Infections Up Slightly in Surrey But No Local Lockdowns Expected

Published on: 3 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 4 Sep, 2020

By Martin Giles

As the weekly reported number of positive Covid-19 cases in England reached the highest level since the end of May, the infection level in parts of Surrey is also increasing, the latest data from NHS Test and Trace shows.

In the fortnight up to August 31, Guildford and Waverley boroughs had 36 new cases each and Surrey County Council also warned of a small rise in Elmbridge, 24 cases in the seven days to August 28. Previously, a small rise in Woking had been noted.

A SCC spokesperson said: “Data is showing some rises in COVID-19 case numbers in areas of Surrey and residents should remain vigilant to slow any spread of the virus.” Council and NHS officials will be watching for any impact from schools and universities reopening.

But the number of Covid-associated deaths in Surrey remains very low. None was reported in the week ending August 31 and there have been only two at the RSCH since the beginning of June.

The absence of figures for Covid hospital admissions and the number of tests make a full picture of the situation impossible. The more tests conducted the more cases are likely to be discovered. The level of hospital admissions following infection is needed to show the true impact.

The important “R” number is now estimated to be between 0.9 and 1.1 in the South-east, similar to that for England as a whole. Above one the rate of infection will increase.

Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s director of public health, said: “Surrey residents have worked alongside us over the past few months to bring levels of Coronavirus down, and the overwhelming majority have listened and followed public health guidelines to help keep Surrey safe.

“We are continually monitoring the data across the county, and we now need to call on residents in Elmbridge to further support us in reducing the spread.

“Surrey still has comparatively low numbers of Coronavirus infections, but we can’t be complacent. Everyone in Surrey has a role to play in slowing the spread, by keeping their distance and limiting contact with people outside their household, not meeting in groups of any larger than six people outdoors, washing their hands and wearing face coverings.

“If you have Coronavirus symptoms then you should self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of your symptoms, and book a test. We are still a long way from a local lockdown, if we all follow guidelines now, we can avoid this happening and keep Elmbridge Borough open.”

The message from the county council is: “If you have Coronavirus symptoms, a persistent cough, high fever, or a change in smell or taste, then you should book a test by calling 119 or visiting Slots are made available the evening before for morning appointments, and in the morning for afternoon appointments.”

A Guildford reader, who is disabled and elderly, told the Dragon one of his carers had tested positive and her manager drove him to the uncrowded test centre near the RSCH at lunchtime without a booking and he was tested immediately. Luckily, his result was negative and that finding was emailed to him about 15 hours later. The carer has since been cleared and is back at work next week.

Ms Hutchinson added: “Preventative measures are the best way to avoid local lockdowns. Residents should be assured we are not considering local lockdowns and there are no plans for closure of premises while numbers remain relatively low.

“We will continue to review the data daily and with extra vigilance the figures will come down and additional measures will not be needed.”

See also: Local Covid-19 Stats

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