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22 July 2021

Covid infections surge, county on track for worst ever week

New COVID-19 infections exceeded 3300 in week ending 16 July, the second highest on record for the county. Provisional data indicates that the record will be broken this week.

The overall case rate for the county hit 660 per 100,000 population (660/100k), compared to an England average of 507/100k. The case rate was lowest in Eden (317/100k) and highest in Copeland (1019/100k).

Case rates increased across all age groups but continued to be highest among younger people. The case rate for under 50s was 1085/100k compared to 184/100k for over 50s. Among 19-24 year olds the case rate hit 2293/100k.

3211 people began self-isolation, according to national NHS Test and Trace data, the highest ever number.

Hospitals in the county have started to come under more pressure because of increasing covid-positive patients being cared for. Across the county’s two NHS Trusts there was a 43% increase in patients in hospital in week ending 20 July, up from 31 to 54.

Dr Matthew Saunders, Consultant in Public Health at Cumbria County Council, said:

“We are now entering uncharted territory and it is hard to predict how high infection rates will rise in the absence of lockdown restrictions. The impact of increasing infections is now being widely felt across the county’s economy as thousands self-isolate and this is creating real difficulties for employers. While numbers in hospital remain significantly below previous highs, they are increasing, and this is putting additional pressure on hospitals already facing extremely high levels of demand for non-covid care.

“While most legal restrictions have been lifted, I strongly encourage people to continue to behave with caution, especially if you are vulnerable or are in frequent contact with vulnerable people, and even if you have been vaccinated. Wearing a mask in busy indoor spaces will help, as will washing hands regularly, avoiding crowds and giving people space. I’d also remind people that the whole test and trace system is one thing that has not changed, there is still a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for covid, or if you are asked to by NHS Test and Trace.”

Key points for Cumbria this week are:

  • There were 3,303 new cases in Cumbria (an increase of 1,283, +64%, from 2,020 cases in the previous week);
  • For the 4th week in a row Carlisle had the greatest number of new cases (+804 new cases);
  • Copeland overtook Allerdale in having the highest rate of new cases (1,019 new cases per 100k population);
  • Copeland, Allerdale and Carlisle’s rates were above both the regional and national average rates (585 and 507 new cases per 100k population respectively);
  • Barrow-in-Furness’s rate was above the national average rate;
  • New cases increased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts;
  • Copeland experienced the greatest numerical and proportional weekly increases in new cases (an increase of 376 new cases, +118% from the previous week);
  • The 19-24 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria (+643 new cases);
  • The 19-24 age group also accounted for by far the greatest rate of new cases in Cumbria (2,293 new cases per 100k population);
  • New cases increased in every age group, with the 12-18 and 30-39 age groups experiencing the joint greatest numerical increases (both +262 more new cases than in the previous week);
  • Cases in the under 50 age group accounted for 87% of total cases;
  • The rate of cases in the under 50 age group was 5.9 times higher than the rate of cases in the 50+ age group;
  • However, new cases in the under 50 age group increased by 62% compared to an 80% increase in the 50+ age group.

The weekly COVID-19 situation report can be found at www.cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread.


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New COVID-19 infections exceeded 3300 in week ending 16 July, the second highest on record for the county. Provisional data indicates that the record will be broken this week.