Rotherham’s health chief has explained the town’s ‘relatively high’ coronavirus figures amid fears of a local lockdown.
Teresa Roche, Rotherham’s director of public health, said that while the rates of infection are far lower than those in Leicester, this is an important reminder for those in the town to continue to respect social distancing so that rates can continue to reduce.
However, she gave a warning that infection still remains a risk in the town.
The biggest increase in cases was seen in Bradford and Rotherham, with both places confirming six more cases in the last few days.
This was followed by Sheffield, where four more cases were confirmed in this time.
Recent data shows that Rotherham now has Rotherham 1,079 confirmed cases of coronavirus – one of the top 10 most affected towns in the country per capita.
Ms Roche responded to media coverage today about areas in the country with relatively high COVID-19 infection rates.
She said: “You will have seen in the news that Leicester has been placed back into stricter lockdown measures, and that other places have been highlighted as relatively high Covid-19 rates of infection.
“Rotherham has been one of the towns mentioned in some of these news stories, but it is important to reassure you that recent rates of infection in Rotherham are far lower than those in Leicester.
“However, we cannot be complacent and we want to see the rates reduce further.
“With that in mind, we continue to emphasise the importance of keeping a safe distance and of hand washing, especially with an eye on this weekend when pubs and restaurants begin to reopen.
“The council will be promoting more communications to this effect over the coming days and weeks.
“As all other councils are doing, we are following our Local Outbreak Control Plan.”
Yesterday, Barnsley Council issued a statement after it was revealed that the town has one of the highest new Covid-19 infections after Leicester.
The town’s number of COVID-19 cases is higher than the national average but the authority said Barnsley’s pro-active testing capacity and its older than average population were contributing factors.