Sandwell sees 30 per cent fall in new Covid-19 cases
Sandwell Council has relaxed its coronavirus advice to residents after a 30 per cent fall in new cases in the last week.
The authority has reviewed its Covid-19 safety advice issued to residents last week and says those shielding in the borough don't need to continue doing so after the number of new cases fell by a third.
But health bosses are continuing to ask residents to not have visitors to their home, except for those in their social "bubble".
Latest rates of infection in the region:
Average number of new cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to August 4.
Figures show rate for seven days to August 4 with the number of new cases in brackets, followed by the equivalent figure for the previous seven days to July 28.
Data for the most recent three days (August 5-7) has been excluded as it is incomplete and likely to be revised.
- Sandwell 18.0 (59), 26.8 (88)
- Birmingham 13.1 (150), 13.6 (155)
- Wolverhampton 12.2 (32), 13.3 (35)
- Walsall 8.4 (24), 7.0 (20)
- Stafford 5.8 (8), 6.6 (9)
- South Staffordshire 5.3 (6), 5.3 (6)
- Cannock Chase 4.0 (4), 7.9 (8)
- Dudley 2.2 (7), 5.6 (18)
The rate of infection in the borough had risen to among the highest in the country and 88 new cases were confirmed in the week to July 28 at a rate of 29.3 new cases per 100,000 residents.
Sandwell still has the highest infection rate in the Black Country but the latest complete data from Public Health England shows 59 new cases were confirmed in the week to Tuesday at a rate of 18 new cases per 100,000 people.
This was the 28th highest rate of local authorities in England and more than four times lower than the highest rate in the country - 78.2 cases per 100,000 people in Pendle and Blackburn.
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Deputy council leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: “As we all know the current situation in relation to the outbreak is changing, sometimes on a daily basis, which means we are now in a position to review our advice to local people based upon local evidence and Government advice.
“In the current situation we would now advise that those who are shielding in Sandwell do not need to continue to do so but we strongly urge people to continue to follow all the Government advice.
“Generally, people who have been shielding should remember they are extremely clinically vulnerable in relation to coronavirus and if infected are at higher risk of very serious illness. So, social distancing, hand washing and other general precautions are vital.
“I would like to thank people for responding so well to all the advice from our public health team, who have been out and about talking to people across the borough and giving advice on how to halt the surge.
“We have done a lot of work, with intensive community engagement in the Smethwick area and we are starting to see that pay off, with the week on week infection rates coming down significantly.
“However, these things change quickly and we have to stay incredibly vigilant – the situation in Sandwell, as across the country, remains extremely serious and we all need to do everything we can to avoid the need for further local restrictions over the coming weeks.”
Advice on care home visits in Sandwell remains that they should remain closed to visits except for window visits and special arrangements for end of life visits. The current level of infection in care homes is not at a level at which the advice on visits can change.
Council chiefs say a significant number of infections across households also still remain and the advice remains that people do not have visitors to their home except for those within their social bubble and essential visits by those providing care and support. This advice will be reviewed again in one week.
Meanwhile the first coronavirus death in more than a month at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has been confirmed.
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