14 January 2021| | 2 min read
North East infection rates remain too high
We are seeing that infection rates across the region look to have stopped rising but it is not yet clear if they will plateau – as we saw in October – or fall. Either way, the current rates remain too high for comfort and we need to see further progress.
People across the region are staying at home and only having essential social contact with others outside their household or support bubble and we thank them for doing so.
Our hospitals are still under immense pressure supporting increasing numbers of patients becoming seriously ill, and with the more transmissible variant of the virus now accounting for up to 60% of the current cases, we must still follow the regulations at all times.
Remarkable progress is being made with the vaccination roll out and many of our most vulnerable residents have received at least their first dose already. However, while huge proportions of the population remain unprotected, the danger of rates spiralling out of control is still very real.
We must all continue to stay at home except for the permitted exemptions, maintain hand hygiene, social distancing and the use of face coverings and do everything we can to prevent our NHS services from becoming overwhelmed.
Whether or not tighter restrictions are needed in the future will be decided by Government based on the national picture, but for now, we must carry on staying at home and keep driving infection rates down.
Wendy Burke, Director of Public Health, North Tyneside
Amanda Healy, Director Public Health, County Durham
Alice Wiseman, Director of Public Health, Gateshead
Eugene Milne, Director of Public Health, Newcastle
Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health, Northumberland
Tom Hall, Director of Public Health, South Tyneside.
Gerry Taylor, Director of Public Health, Sunderland