COVID-19: Cornwall among areas in South West receiving extra coronavirus support amid surge in cases | UK News

COVID-19: Cornwall among areas in South West receiving extra coronavirus support amid surge in cases | UK News


Cornwall is among a list of areas in the South West of England receiving extra support to tackle a surge in coronavirus cases.

Secondary school and college pupils will also need to wear face masks in communal areas outside of their classrooms when they return next week.

From Friday, local authorities will receive “logistical” help to maximise the number of people being vaccinated and tested in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

Public health campaigns will be given additional support, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

The areas will be subject to “increased surveillance”, including wastewater sampling and the use of technologies to identify COVID-19 variants such as genotype assay testing and genome sequencing.

The new measures are expected to last for five weeks.

Pressures on the NHS, the number of COVID-19 cases and coronavirus-related deaths will be closely monitored.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the decision was made in partnership with local authorities based on the latest data.

Figures recently showed that growing numbers of local areas – including in the South West – were recording some of their highest rates of new COVID-19 cases.

Professor Mike Wade, deputy regional director and NHS regional director of public health for Public Health England South West, said the announcement that parts of the South West are entering an Enhanced Response Area is “a reminder that COVID has not gone away”.

He said Public Health England is hoping to give local authorities “more flexibility” to introduce additional public health measures if they think it is necessary.

“Our advice to residents and anyone visiting the South West remains the same,” he said. “COVID has not gone on holiday.

“With the bank holiday weekend ahead of us, day trippers, holiday makers and residents need to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 and continue to exercise caution.”

It comes after Cornwall urged visitors to stay away unless they have pre-booked their trip.

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Both Devon and Cornwall had 500 cases or more per 100,000 people in the seven days to 18 August, according to figures calculated by the PA news agency.

The figure was 300 or less per 100,000 people a week before.

Almost 5,000 coronavirus cases are suspected to be linked to Boardmasters, a surf and music festival in Cornwall earlier this month.



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