Why more younger people are catching coronavirus in Northumberland, as average age of cases plummets to 25 in county

The average age of new Covid-19 cases in Northumberland has halved in the past two months, with a rise in young people being infected.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 11:27 am
A coronavirus testing centre. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The shift in the average age was revealed by the county’s director of public health in her update a full meeting of Northumberland County Council on Wednesday, September 2,

Liz Morgan said: “Nationally, there has been a slight increase in the number of cases from the beginning of July, but that has now levelled off, and the Office for National Statistics estimates that about one in 1,900 people have coronavirus at any one time.

“Regionally, we have seen a similar increase that started for us at the end of July and, from a regional perspective, it’s really too early for us to tell whether that increase is levelling off or not.

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“In Northumberland, we have also seen an increase in the number of cases since the second week of August and we’re now seeing as many cases per day as we were per week.

“The total number of cases in Northumberland is now 1,684. We’ve had 30 cases over the last seven days and 65 over the last fortnight.

“What is noticeable is the decrease in average age, so where at the end of June the average age for cases in that particular week was 50, in the last week the average age has dropped to 25.”

When asked about the increase in cases later in the meeting, Ms Morgan said that ‘at least some of it’ could be attributed to rising cases in young people.

“It’s probably not surprising that the easing of lockdown has led to an increasing number of cases in younger age groups,” she continued.

“These are the people who are more likely to socialise, they’re more likely to go to bars and restaurants, they’re potentially more likely to holiday abroad and we have seen a smattering of cases related to overseas travel.

“I don’t know whether anyone is aware of the changes that have been made in Scotland in relation to Greece, but certainly we have seen a number of cases related to travel to Greece in Northumberland.

“All of those factors have definitely contributed to the increase in cases.”

Travellers from Greece to Scotland are required to self-isolate at home, or another specified address, for 14 days on arrival in Scotland. The rule was brought in to start at 4am on September 3, which Scottish Ministers said was due to a significant rise in cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) being imported into Scotland by people who have been in Greece.

There is no such quarantine in place for England.

However, at the latest meeting, she said: “I’m not actually aware of any cases which are specifically related to tourism, that really hasn’t been a feature of the increase in cases that we have seen.”

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