Mansfield MP Ben Bradley issues 'Covid is not over yet' warning after infection rate rise
Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has joined health chiefs in urging people to remember ‘Covid has not gone away yet’ after the area recorded the highest infection rate in England this week.
The district has overtaken Corby in Northamptonshire for having the highest rate in the country after figures, as of yesterday (Tuesday), revealed it has 107.9 cases per 100,000 people – an increase of more than 14 per cent on the previous seven days.
It is also almost four times the England average of 28.1 per 100,000, with some Mansfield neighbourhoods having rates more than five or six times higher than the national figure.
In total, there have been about 122 cases in the last week – with half of the cases among young people aged under 18 and most of those are between 12 and 17.
News of the rise in Mansfield comes in the same week that gyms, pubs, non-essential shops and hair salons welcomed back customers for the first time this year.
Mr Bradley said the hike was ‘linked to one particular setting’ and is confident the numbers will fall again – but urged folk to continue to follow the guidelines.
"Although we are all enjoying restrictions easing, it’s important to recognise, it’s not over,” he said. “We haven’t yet seen the proof in real life of the effectiveness of the vaccine.
"Over the coming weeks we need to be sensible whilst we test the theory. We expect it will keep hospitalisations much lower, and that’s the key, but that’s not proven yet.
"I urge residents to bear in mind we’re only part way through this process. Covid has not gone away yet.”
Jonathan Gribbin, Nottinghamshire’s director of public health, said the rise serves as a ‘powerful reminder’ that the virus is still circulating widely.
"As the lockdown is eased, the commitment and vigilance of everyone in Mansfield is still needed so that we do not become the focus of a resurgence,” he said.
"Everyone needs to carry on with the Hands, Face, Space rules, only meet others outdoors in a group of six or two households – and even then, keeping a distance of two metres.
"It means following the rules for any shop, hairdresser, pub, restaurant or gym we visit.”