Northumberland County Council’s deputy director of public health, Gill O’Neill, delivered an update on the latest coronavirus situation in the county to members of the authority’s health and wellbeing board.
It comes as an average of 351,000 people are being infected with Covid each day according to the ZOE Covid study – a new record high for the pandemic.
Mrs O’Neill explained that the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that one in 25 people in England are currently infected with the virus. The North East also has one of the highest estimated rates in the country, along with London and the South West.
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Sh added: “We’re seeing the highest prevelance in secondary school aged children and working age adults. From a variance perspective the increase is likely due to the BA4 and BA5 Omicron variants. Estimates are that they account for 60 per cent of cases.
“Admissions and numbers in hospitals have increased since the end of May. However numbers on mechanical ventilation beds remain low fortunately.
“In Northumberland it’s around 15 patients admitted to hospital with Covid per day and around 70 patients in hospital. However they’re not all in hospital for Covid, they are being tested and finding they have it.”
On the other hand, the take-up of vaccines in Northumberland remains high and is still among the best in the country. Members were also told that a campaign is in the offing to encourage people to get their flu and Covid booster jabs at the same time.
In terms of healthcare, NHS trusts are continuing to struggle with sickness absences, as medical staff test regularly and do not come into work if they are positive for “obvious reasons.” The advice from Government is to keep washing hands and wear a facemask when in close contact with others if you feel comfortable to do so.
People are considered contagious from two days before their symptoms begin, until 10 days after they start feeling unwell.