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27 October 2022

Around 1 in 28 people in Cumbria have COVID-19 as the virus continues to claim lives

The proportion of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Cumbria has increased recently as winter approaches.

Around 500 positive cases were confirmed by tests over a 7-day period, but the real infection rates are likely to be much higher due widespread COVID-19 testing no longer being undertaken.

According to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, infections in the county have risen recently with an estimated 3.6% of people testing positive for COVID-19, accounting for around 18,000 or 1 in 28 people.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 (death occurrences mentioning COVID) remain relatively low, but people are still dying from the virus. An average of 4 people per week have been dying with COVID-19 over the past 10 weeks and this number is expected to increase going into winter - especially if people do not get their booster vaccines. 

Hospital admissions (people testing positive for COVID) had recently increased but they now look to be stabilising or even decreasing. However, the situation can change rapidly and admissions are expected to increase going into winter unless vaccine take up improves.

Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, said: “The disruption we all faced because of COVID-19 just a year or so ago may feel like a distant memory now - but COVID-19 has not gone away. It’s still circulating in the population and continues to cause serious illness in some people.

“There are simple things you can do in your daily life that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections and protect those at highest risk. Such as getting vaccinated, letting fresh air in if meeting others indoors, washing your hands, and wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces.

“If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, please get tested, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

“I know for many people it will feel like the pandemic is over and we just need to get on with it now as many people will not become very ill at all when they do contract this virus. Thankfully the vaccine has had a real impact on that. However, that’s not the case for all our population who remain at risk if they are infected.

“In addition, we must think about the impact rising rates of infection has on the workforce, particularly in services we all rely upon such as the NHS. To ease those pressures, we must continue to follow the public health guidance.”

If you’re aged 50 or over, pregnant, a frontline health or social care worker or have a health condition or weakened immune system, you may now be eligible to receive a seasonal booster dose (autumn booster) of the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you haven’t already been invited to receive your autumn booster vaccine, you can book an appointment online, call 119 free of charge, or visit your nearest walk-in vaccination centre.

If you haven’t had a COVID-19 vaccine, or you’re not up to date with your vaccines, it’s never too late. You can book your vaccine appointment today.

To find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines, the autumn booster or how to get book an appointment, please visit the NHS website.

For the latest guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the government website.

The proportion of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Cumbria has increased recently as winter approaches.