Coronavirus infection rate in Smethwick ward reaches triple national average

Residents in Smethwick have been warned to be vigilant after a spate of coronavirus cases in part of the town.

Smethwick's St Paul's registered 102 new cases in the seven-day period between November 18 and 24.

That is the equivalent of 648.2 cases per 100,000 people - more than 50 per cent higher than the average infection rate in Sandwell and triple the national average.

Sandwell Council leaders have once again pleaded for residents to be safe after 170 new cases of Covid-19 were reported across the borough on Thursday. A further 126 cases were reported on Friday.

The St Paul’s ward covers from West Smethwick Park – bordering Rood End, Galton Bridge and St Paul’s Road – and over towards the Hawthorns including Brasshouse Lane, Middlemore Lane and Halfords Lane.

How the infection rate in Sandwell has changed since September 1

Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s director of public health, said: “Hospital admissions are very high and those aged 65 plus are at risk of severe illness if infected.

“Infections are rapidly rising in this age group and I would urge them to take very strong safety measures – particularly around the St Paul’s area, where the virus is rife right now.

“Stay at home unless you absolutely have to go out, avoid meeting people you do not live with and minimise your day-to-day contact with other people to help stop the spread of infection.

“If you can help an older relative or neighbour with shopping and errands, please do.

“Remember to wash your hands - cover your face and make space.”

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She added: “It is important that you get a test at the onset of symptoms and if you are told to self-isolate for any reason that you do so.”

Government figures show Sandwell had an infection rate of 404.6 cases per 100,000 people in the week to November 22, compared to 193 across the UK.

The rate in the borough, which is home to 328,000 people, peaked at 515.1 in the week to November 14.

The council has more up to date figures than are published on the Government's website, hence the specific data for the week to Tuesday provided above.

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