Public health boss discusses spike in coronavirus cases in Nottingham

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A rise in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Nottingham in recent days is broadly in line with the national picture, the city’s director of public health has said.

Much of the rise is coming among younger people aged 18 to 24, which is also in line with national figures, she said.

Alison Challenger's comments have come after the latest data revealed 71 new cases of coronavirus in Nottingham in the seven days to September 4.

That is the equivalent of 21.3 cases per 100,000 people, a substantial rise on the previous week's figure of 9.6.

The director of public health told a meeting on Tuesday, September 8: “We are noting that case rates are higher in the younger age groups at the moment, which is aged 15 to 44.

“We also see an increase in the number of positive tests, so positivity increasing, and more people are being tested as well.

“The number of hospitalsations and Covid-related deaths continue to be really low across the whole country.

“When we look at Nottingham it tends to follow the national picture, so there has been an increase in the number of cases, that is the trend.

“It does fluctuate from day to day, and sometimes it’s not always in a straight line up or a straight line down.

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“So we have seen a small decrease in the number of cases in the most weekly report, but when I’ve looked over the data for the last weekend we are starting to see a more consistent increase in the number of positive cases."

Mrs Challenger said there had been only one death linked to coronavirus in the city during the last seven weeks - and nothing in the most recent week.

She added: “On the NHS test and trace service, we have had some capacity problems, particularly in the laboratory capacity for the past couple of weeks, that unfortunately continues to be an issue, but that is also down to the number of tests the service is taking through, which continues to increase.

“It’s an extremely busy service, and sometimes it is difficult to book a test, so I think it’s a matter of waiting a few hours and then trying again to see if you book a test.”

She went on to say pressure on the testing could be lessened by people only taking a test when they are experiencing symptoms, or have been asked to have one taken.

She also reiterated that the best steps people can take currently to prevent the spread of the virus remained frequent hand washing for 20 seconds, and maintaining social distancing.

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