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Spelthorne Off National Covid-19 Watchlist as ‘Area of Concern’

Published on: 1 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 3 Oct, 2020

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

Spelthorne has been taken off the national Covid-19 watchlist and is no longer an “area of concern”. The government decision came today (October 1) after the borough’s coronavirus infection rate more than halved.

The rate is now at 25 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 53.4 per 100,000 when Health Secretary Matt Hancock put Spelthorne, by Heathrow airport, on the list almost two weeks ago.

On Monday, Woking had Surrey’s largest number of new infections over the previous seven days, with 33 per 100,000 of population. Waverley borough was next with 31 and Guildford with 27.

Table showing Covid infections in Surrey by borough or district council area.

But recent figures for Covid-related hospital admissions remain low throughout the South-east, (population 9.2 million). There were just 14 admissions on September 29, the most recent day recorded, and 104 for that week, a similar number being admitted in the North-east and Yorkshire (population 8.2 million) on the 29th alone.

Covid infections England September 2020. The darker the blue the higher the number of infections per 100,000 of population. Source gov.uk. Click on map to enlarge.

Generally, the infection rate is higher in the northern regions of England and London. Only the South-west has a lower rate than the South-east. But infections in all areas are increasing.

Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s director of public health, said: “People in Spelthorne have done a brilliant job of bringing the infection rates down in the borough. There has obviously been a tremendous effort to follow the guidelines, and this is proof that works.”

Spelthorne was the first area in the South-east to be put on the watchlist on September 18. There had been concern residents would have to follow stricter measures such as those in Bolton where different households are banned from meeting anywhere.

Ms Hutchinson said she did not want people to be complacent. “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that people keep up the good work,” she said.

“We are at a crucial point for Surrey and the rest of the country and we need to keep infection rates under control. There are no shortcuts when it comes to protecting ourselves, our loved ones and the NHS.”

She urged people to keep washing their hands and wearing face-coverings and emphasised that no one should be getting together in groups of more than six.

“The situation can change quickly, so let’s all play our part to make sure life can continue as normally as possible,” Ms Hutchinson added.

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, a persistent cough, high fever, or a change in smell or taste, should book a test by calling 119 or by visiting www.nhs.co.uk/coronavirus.

Slots are made available the evening before for morning appointments, and in the morning for afternoon appointments.

See also: Local Covid-19 Stats

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