Posted: 04.05.21 at 11:40 by Daniel Clark - Local Democracy Reporter
The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed across Devon and Cornwall last week increased for the second week running, but infection rates still remain among the lowest in England.
A total of 231 new cases were confirmed across the two counties last week, compared to 214 the previous week, meaning numbers are up by an average of two cases per day across the two counties.
However, numbers in Cornwall, North Devon, Teignbridge and West Devon are down on the previous week, and East Devon figures remain unchanged.
Of the 231 new cases confirmed since April 23, 52 were in Cornwall, with 16 in East Devon, 21 in Exeter, 18 in Mid Devon, 15 in North Devon, 50 in Plymouth, 17 in South Hams, 15 in Teignbridge, 13 in Torbay, nine in Torridge and five in West Devon.
And while the numbers of cases confirmed has risen slightly, the number of tests carried out across the region rose by 10 per cent last week, with positivity levels falling from 0.3 per cent to 0.2 per cent across Devon and Cornwall.
The total case numbers for Devon and Cornwall since the start of the pandemic now stands at 47,905.
Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said: “One in three people with coronavirus show no symptoms. So even if you feel fine, make it a habit to get tested twice a week so you can help prevent the spread of coronavirus in our communities.
“Together with getting vaccinated when invited to, and remembering hands, face, space and fresh air, regular symptom-free testing is a vital part of being able to ease restrictions and life returning to normal as safely as possible.”
A Public Health Devon spokesman added: “We have done well to maintain low case numbers here in Devon, despite the gradual easing of restrictions over the past few weeks, and we still have one of the lowest rates in the country.
“But we are seeing a small increase in minor outbreaks across a number of settings, including workplaces, schools and care homes, so it’s really important we stay cautious, follow the rules and all take part in regular testing to help identify positive cases as soon as possible to stop the virus spreading.
“Please don’t get complacent and remember the rules still apply even if you have had your vaccination. The pandemic isn’t over just yet. It feels like the end is in sight, but there’s still a risk of coronavirus in our communities and we must all do our bit to help keep everyone safe.”
Three of Devon’s four hospitals are free of COVID-19 patients, including North Dorset, Derriford and Torbay, and there are now no COVID patients on ventilators in Devon or Cornwall.
There is now 11 COVID patients in hospital in Devon, a decrease from 13 the previous week, and all are at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
In the last week, there has been one death in Devon and Cornwall’s hospitals of patients within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, in Exeter.
The latest figures show that more than one million people across Devon and Cornwall have now had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.
The statistics, which provide the position as of April 25, show that there have been 1,417,398 vaccines delivered in the two counties, with 1,008,542 of them being the first dose.
In Devon, 683,712 people have had their first dose, with 271,135 of them having also had a second dose. This means that 68.4 per cent of adults have had at least vaccine, while more than a quarter – 27.1 per cent – have had their second dose.
In East Devon, 74.9 per cent of the adult population have had at least one dose.
Coronavirus case numbers in the local area remain very low, with Seaton and every immediately surrounding area reporting fewer than three confirmed cases in the seven-day period up until April 28.
In small areas with fewer than three cases, full data is not provided to protect the identity of individuals.
The closest areas which have reported three or more cases are Sidmouth Sidford (3 cases), Uffculme & Hemyock (3), and Curry Rivel & Fivehead (3).