Update from Public Health England

    Latest figures from Public Health England have indicated a rise in cases of coronavirus in the Uttlesford District area

    Latest figures from Public Health England have indicated a rise in cases of coronavirus in the Uttlesford District area

    The latest figures from Public Health England have indicated a rise in cases of coronavirus in the Uttlesford District area.

    Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Uttlesford have risen to the highest level in Essex (64 cases per 100,000 population a week as of 6 October), and also continue to increase more rapidly in Epping Forest (58 cases per 100,000 population a week as of 6 October) and Brentwood at 55 per 100 000. Basildon has also seen an increase, although not to the same extent.

    The figures come from the latest Public Health England ‘patch report’, which do not include data from the most recent four days. This is because the most recent data can be unreliable and is likely to change. The figures may therefore vary from those published via other sources, such as the Essex Open Data website, although will eventually agree.

    Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health and Wellbeing at Essex County Council, said: “Sadly we are starting to see faster and faster increases in cases in many areas of Essex. They are now showing exponential increase, so are doubling every few days. Uttlesford’s case levels have increased over the past week and are now approaching 65 cases per 100,000.

    “In Uttlesford this looks very much transmission within the community, as there is no evidence which attributes these cases to a particular event, area or outbreak. If cases appear in this way across a district, it makes it much more difficult to manage, contain and prevent further spread.

    “Our Contact Tracing team are working hard with colleagues in Public Health and local health protection teams to manage the situation, but we also need the help of the people of Uttlesford. We are asking all residents to please adhere to social distancing of 2m wherever possible, consider what social interactions they are taking part in and limit these as much as possible, and whenever possible, people should work from home.

    “We know that we are asking a lot from our residents, and that reducing social interaction brings other concerns and anxieties, but we feel this is necessary to avoid more formal local lockdown rules.

    “If you commute to work, it is essential to download and use the NHS Covid-19 App. This will allow your identification if you are in contact with a case so you can take necessary action.”

    Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr John Spence, said: “We can all play our part in preventing the further spread of Covid-19.

    “The basics of social distancing are still as important as ever – so please, wear a face covering in shops or enclosed public spaces, wash your hands regularly keep two metres apart from others. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible.”

    Cllr John Lodge, Leader at Uttlesford District Council, said: “The figures indicate that positive cases are now being seen across all age groups, not just younger people as it was some weeks ago, and that is a great concern. If we continue to see a rise in infections we will face greater restrictions which will then have an impact on our local businesses that have been trying so hard to get back on their feet. I urge all residents to redouble their efforts in following the basic rules around hands, face, space, as well as to delay any social activities if they can and to work from home where possible. I’m sure if we all work together we can bring the spread among our community down again. The council’s Community Hub is also still open to support vulnerable residents who need assistance or who are feeling anxious or lonely at this difficult time.”

    Councillor Holly Whitbread, Communities Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, appealed to commuters to be especially careful. She said: “With the Epping Forest infection rate consistently high, we are also appealing to people to work from home wherever possible. We have no specific focus for an outbreak but some cases could be associated with travel on the Central Line. Unless your journey to work is absolutely necessary, please work from home. Slow the spread of the virus and protect your loved-ones from infection.”