Covid cases continue to fall in Devon and restrictions end but caution is still advised by health boss

Wednesday 23rd February 2022 4:00 pm
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Covid cases continue to fall across Devon, and the Government has announced the end of legal restrictions this week, but one health boss in the county is still urging caution.

Figures for the week to last Thursday [17 February] show rates in the Devon County Council, Torbay and Plymouth areas all fell by just under 30 per cent.

However, as the county is still playing catch-up with the UK in terms of falling cases, it remains well above the national average rate of 478 cases per 100,000 people. Devon’s is 599 and Torbay’s is 605, while the figure is slightly higher in Plymouth at 673.

At a district level, all council areas recorded falls of over 20 per cent in the past week. North Devon had the biggest drop of 39 per cent, followed by East Devon and Teignbridge.

The new figures mean Torridge remains the least prevalent area for the virus in Devon – after once being one of the most infectious areas in the country – at 386 cases per 100,000. Exeter is the highest at 728.

Despite cases continuing to fall, Devon’s director of public health Steve Brown urges the public to ‘continue to look out for each other’ by being cautious and following the guidance over the next few months.

His comments come after the prime minister announced all covid restrictions will end in England on Thursday [24 February] and free mass testing will stop from Friday 1 April, including the legal requirement for people with covid to self-isolate.

Mr Brown said: “What is clear is that it is vital that people continue to look out for each other, and do all they can to reduce risk, especially to those who are more vulnerable

“That means being respectful of other people’s concerns and personal situations.

“The public health advice is that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus, or who shows symptoms of having it, including a high temperature or cough, should stay at home and avoid contact with others.

“The same can be said for any other infectious illness, such a flu, or vomiting and diarrhoea.

“We need to get to a place whereby it’s commonly accepted that when someone’s not well and there’s risk of spreading that virus, that they stay home to reduce the risk of transmission to others.”

HOSPITALISATIONS

The most recent government data from Tuesday 15 February, shows 171 patients in Devon’s hospitals with covid, a reduction of 12 from a week ago. The biggest number – 77 – are being treated in Plymouth.

Elsewhere, 52 patients were at the RD&E in Exeter, 19 in Torbay, 12 in North Devon and 11 in Devon Partnership mental health trust sites. Of the total, only one person was in intensive care with covid.

DEATHS

Fifteen more people died in the county within 28 days of testing positive for covid in the latest complete weekly period (up to Wednesday 16 February). Six were in the Devon County Council area, four in Torbay and five in Plymouth.

As of Sunday 20 February, 1,620 people in Devon (including Plymouth and Torbay) had died within 28 days of a positive test since the pandemic began

VACCINATIONS

The number of people aged over 12 who have received their booster (third) covid vaccination is 71 per cent in the Devon County Council area, 66 per cent in Torbay and 61 per cent in Plymouth.

Take-up for at least one dose of a vaccine is 88 per cent in the Devon County Council area, 86 per cent in Torbay and 85 per cent in Plymouth.

The proportion of people who have had two jabs is 84 per cent in Devon, 82 per cent in Torbay and 80 per cent in Plymouth.

The national rates are 91, 85 and 66 per cent respectively.

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