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Coronavirus cases by area of Cambridgeshire: Romsey in Cambridge is latest to record small Covid-19 spike




Vigilance has been urged by the director of public health for Cambridgeshire following small increases in the number of coronavirus cases in Cambridge.

The city has had 15 laboratory confirmed cases in August, after only three in July and none in June.

The Covid-19 virus. Image: CDC
The Covid-19 virus. Image: CDC

Romsey is among the latest areas to be affected, with four lab-confirmed cases in the week of August 10-16, while Trumpington recorded three.

During the previous week - August 3-9 - there were five cases in Cherry Hinton and three in central and west Cambridge , as the Cambridge Independent has previously reported.

Public Health England reports where there has been more than two lab-confirmed cases in geographic territories known as middle super output areas, which have broadly similar populations, typically of around 8,000 people.

In addition to the weekly cases, it also reports a rolling seven-day count. That shows three for Romsey in the seven days to August 18, but none in Trumpington, suggesting the cases there were recorded at the beginning of the week August 10-16 and that there has been no laboratory-confirmed spread.

Romsey has not recorded more than two cases since the week of April 27-May 3, when there were 10.

Trumpington had three in the week of July 20-26.

Prior to that, no area of Cambridge had recorded more than three cases since May 25-31, when there were three in Cherry Hinton.

The small uptick in cases in August mirrors a nationwide rise this month as more people have resumed normal activities.

Cambridge has had a total of 369 confirmed Covid-19 infections to August 21 – or 295.7 cases per 100,000 cumulatively, meaning it is still one of the less affected areas of the country overall.

But the statistics highlight the clear need for ongoing vigilance , as the virus still has the potential to spike.

Val Thomas, deputy director of public health for Cambridgeshire County Council, told the Cambridge Independent: “Latest figures from PHE show that we’ve had a small increase in the number of cases reported in Cambridge city over the past fortnight, the majority linked to a specific set of households who have been contacted and are self-isolating appropriately.

“Although this is a small number nonetheless this is something that we are working closely with Cambridge City Council and our colleagues in the health service and PHE to monitor and contain any spread.

“We continue to work closely with the community and businesses to reduce transmission rates and I ask everyone to continue to adhere to all government guidelines particularly social distancing, not getting any closer than two metres to people outside their own household, not meeting up with more than one other household indoors, and hand washing to protect themselves against contracting Covid-19 in the first place.

“We would also encourage anyone with symptoms to get a test. There are a number of easily accessible testing sites around the city, or people can order them online or by calling 119.

“The best way for us to stop infection spreading, is to identify it quickly and help those who are infected.”

The August rise has been avoided so far in South Cambridgeshire. Papworth, Caxton and Fen Drayton was the last area in the district to record more than two cases, when there were four in the week of July 27-August 2.

The district has had 383 cases to date, at a cumulative infection rate of 240.8 case per 100,000.

In East Cambridgeshire, Soham had four lab-confirmed cases in the week of August 10-16.

This was the only time any area in the district had more than two cases in since June 15-21, when Soham had six. There have been 207 cases in the district to August 21 - a cumulative infection rate of 230.4 cases per 100,000 people.

A mobile testing site returns to The Hive Leisure Centre, in Ely, on Sunday August 23.

In Huntingdonshire, Stilton, Elton & Folksworth had three lab-confirmed cases in the week of August 10-16, while there were five in St Neots Eaton Socon, which had also recorded five the week before - August 3-9 - when St Neots Eynesbury also had three.

Huntingdonshire has now had 940 cases to August 21 - an infection rate of 528.2 cases per 100,000 people.

No area of Fenland has had more than two confirmed cases in August. There have been 508 recorded cases in the district to August 21 - a cumulative infection rate of 498.8 cases per 100,000 people.

There is ongoing concern about the number of cases in Peterborough, with 18 cases across the city in the week of August 10-16, and 19 the week before. There have been 1,553 cases in the city to August 21, and its cumulative infection rate of 767.8 per 100,000 people is the third worst in the East of England, after Bedford Borough (811.9) and Luton (795.6).

Some mobile testing sites have been introduced this month in Peterborough to help control the spread of the virus.

Despite the case rate, more than 150 play areas in Peterborough were reopened this week, with signage in place about Covid-19 transmission. The city council acknowledged it was “it “not possible to completely eliminate” the risk.

Cases of Covid-19 in England. Source: Public Health England (41036777)
Cases of Covid-19 in England. Source: Public Health England (41036777)

The case data covers both results pillar 1 and pillar 2 testing. Pillar 1 tests are those carried out by hospitals and councils and processed in Public Health England laboratories. Pillar 2 tests are those carried out at drive-through centres and via home-testing kits, which is then processed in commercial labs. This is important because some spikes in cases might only be visible through the pillar 2 testing data.

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