Spike in Covid-19 cases sees Tameside infection rate soar

Thursday, September 10th, 2020 1:03pm

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter @CharGreenLDR

A rise in new coronavirus cases in Tameside has caused the borough's infection rate to spike.

The borough’s figure is now the second-worst in Greater Manchester.

In just a few weeks, Tameside’s rate has soared from 29.6 in the week ending August 22, to 72 in the seven days to September 9.

Only Bolton has a higher rate in the region – 131.

The borough has been put under harsher lockdown measures by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, with restaurants and pubs ordered to operate as takeaway only.

Leaders have warned that residents in Tameside need to take action to avoid following in Bolton’s footsteps, and seeing more restrictions imposed.

According to the government dashboard, there have been 163 positive cases in the week to September 6.

The two biggest hotspots for cases are Hyde North and Denton South, but new incidences of the virus are being confirmed all across the borough.

Town hall chiefs say that most of the new cases in Tameside are occurring through ‘household transmission’ and it is ‘vital’ that people do not mix with other households indoors or in private gardens.

Council leader Brenda Warrington said: “The steep increase in the number of cases is extremely concerning and it is going to take action and compliance from each and every one of us in Tameside to curb this.

“Covid is affecting all our communities in Tameside – it is pointless trying to point the finger at one particular area of concern as none of us can take our eye of the ball, it is up to everyone, everywhere to play their part.

“We need to step up our efforts even more to stop the spread of the virus and avoid the need of further restrictions being imposed.

“This virus can spread very quickly, it only takes one person not sticking to the rules when they are infected with the virus – knowingly or not – and within a week they will have infected three people,  after six weeks this will result in at least 1,000 people being infected.

“Whilst the majority may not even have any symptoms of illness, one of these people could be someone you love who gets very ill and dies. And so I am imploring everyone to protect themselves and others.”

Tameside council is also ‘working closely’ with Greater Manchester Police to raise awareness of the restrictions as well as supporting businesses to ensure safety measures are in place.

Chiefs say the focus is on engaging people to comply with the restrictions but enforcement action will be taken where necessary.

Superintendant Jane Higham of GMP’s Tameside district said: “Our officers are working with the council to engage the community and businesses in the safety restrictions and measures and we will be taking enforcement action where there are clear breaches.

“We want to get to a more normal way of life as soon as possible and the only way we can achieve this is to step up to the challenge we’re faced with, work together and all do our bit now to stop the spread of the virus.

“This is a difficult time for everyone and has required huge behavioural change due to the restrictions; however please remember that by following these regulations you will not only be protecting yourself, but also others who may be more vulnerable.”

Seven of the ten boroughs in Greater Manchester have seen their infection rates go above 50 – meaning they enter the ‘red’ zone and could face further intervention.

From Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday that it will be against the law for groups of more than six – who don’t live together – to meet outside or inside anywhere in the country.

There are exemptions for workplaces, schools, weddings, funerals and some team sports.

However Tameside remains under the regional restrictions which prohibit different households meeting up inside homes, gardens, or indoor hospitality venues.

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