Warning as covid rates plateau rather than fall

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An image of covid-19 as seen under a microscope

Infection rates are beginning to plateau in Cheshire despite the lockdown restrictions, prompting a warning from council leader Sam Corcoran.

While both Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester boroughs have a downward trend overall, decreases have slowed in recent days, with Cheshire East Council’s rate hovering around the 190-199 cases per 100,000 mark for a few days now (ITALICS writes local democracy reporter Ethan Davies).

Coun Corcoran said: “In the last few days, (we have had) around 100 new cases a day, and it has not fallen further, which is disturbing. Please take care not to spread covid-19. There are currently outbreaks in 27 care homes in Cheshire East.

“While the vaccination programme is going very well, please remember that the vaccines are not effective until a fortnight after the first dose, and not fully effective until a week after the second dose.”

While it may seem like case numbers not falling as fast as previously is a small issue, the implications can be serious.
Cheshire’s hospitals have also seen falls in the number of covid admissions — but not as sharply as hoped. In mid-Cheshire, 174 patients are in its hospitals with the virus, and 114 are in east Cheshire facilities.

Data from NHS England released this week found that nearly nine in 10 of Cheshire and Merseyside’s over-75 population received their first dose of a vaccine by the end of last month. This news came a week after Clare Watson, accountable officer of the NHS running Cheshire’s roll-out said she was “confident” targets would be met.

For now, it is worth re-doubling the hands-face-space efforts to be doubly sure. If infection rates do climb, then the good news is that more elderly people will have some degree of protection against the virus – but middle-aged people will then be at risk, potentially affecting people with families.