Mansfield's spike in Covid cases a 'salutary warning' the virus has not gone away
A spike in Covid-19 cases in Mansfield was a ‘salutary warning’ that no age group was ‘exempt’ from the virus and that it has ‘not gone away’.
The message from Nottinghamshire’s director of public health, Jonathan Gribbin, comes just days after the district recorded the highest infection rate in England – with the rise blamed on outbreaks in local schools.
News of the hike also came in the same week more lockdown measures were eased, leading to the town’s MP Ben Bradley to urge folk to follow guidelines to help curb the spike.
The infection rate in Mansfield has fallen since Tuesday, when it had 107.9 cases per 100,000 people, and as of today (Friday, April 16) the district has a rate of 98.8 for the previous seven days.
In Nottinghamshire, the figure stands at 34.4 cases per 100,000 while in neighbouring Ashfield the rate is 23.5.
Mr Gribbin said the high rates experienced in the town served as reminder that the virus was still circulating and can affect people of all ages – highlighting how at its peak this week, half of the 120 cases were among ‘younger people’.
"The virus continues to affect people of all ages, no part of the community should consider itself exempt,” warned Mr Gribbin, speaking at a weekly media briefing with journalists on Friday.
“I urge the people in Mansfield to continue with the rule and restrictions, using face masks, washing hands and social distancing.
“If we mix, it can only be with one other household, the rule of six applies, we must meet outdoors and keep a two-metre distance.
“It’s great that leisure centres and gyms have opened, that people can visit hair salons and have their nails done, but we must stick to measures, including those put in place by businesses to keep us safe.”
Mr Gribbin also used the briefing to highlight the importance of people getting tested twice a week.
“Testing plays a big role as we move forward,” he said. “Vaccines are very effective, we are pleased people have come forward, but alone vaccinations are not sufficient to prevent a virus resurgence.
"Twice-weekly testing must become routine. You can get lateral flow tests from pharmacies, there are asymptomatic testing sites and delivered online. Testing will keep Nottinghamshire safe in months to come.”