Bristol at a ‘very critical point’ as coronavirus cases rise

Bristol is at a “very critical point” as coronavirus cases in the city continue to rise, the council has said.

In the past few weeks, coronavirus cases in Bristol have been quickly rising and more than 2,000 coronavirus infections were recorded in the city in the seven days up to November 8.

And as many as 32 areas of Bristol have some of the highest rates of coronavirus infection being recorded across the country.

Bristol as a whole has a case rate per 100,000 of 471 – the highest in the south of England and higher than Manchester (433.2) and Liverpool (284.5), which both went into Tier 3 lockdowns before the new national lockdown was introduced.

However, the Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said earlier this week he didn’t want the city to be place into Tier 3 – the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions – after the lockdown.

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Bristol City Council has now issued its latest update on coronavirus statistics in the city.

It said: “Bristol is now at a very critical point. We need everyone to be extra careful – the virus spreads when people are in close proximity to one another.

“We can all avoid becoming a contact. The virus spreads from person to person.

“Bristol’s rate of 471.0 new cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days (up to November 8) is higher than for the previous 7 days (383.6 per 100,000).

“The reported rate represents 2,183 positive cases reported for Bristol over the past 7 days within a population of over 463,000 people.

“The trend has moved sharply upwards and the Bristol rate remains above the England rate of 262.4 per 100,000 and is now ranked 16th among 149 English local authorities.

“This week there are 196 people in our local hospitals (not just Bristol residents) that have tested positive for COVID-19 and our health system is under considerable pressure.

“We can expect to see this trend continue for the next few weeks as any intervention will take some weeks to take effect.”

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The update said the council was taking additional measures during the national lockdown, including focusing on “back to basics” communication, engaging with communities and the public, enforcement and taking on local contact tracing.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely working with Public Health England, the NHS, Department ofHealth and Social Care and our neighbouring local authorities,” it continued.

“The regional R number is estimated to lie within a range of 1.2 – 1.4 reflecting the rise in cases locally and nationally. The range of R is above 1 indicating the epidemic is increasing.

“47% of cases are in the under 30 age group, reflecting schools returning and universities opening, and younger adult social behaviours.

“42% of cases are in adults aged 30-59. Of particular concern is the rise of cases among adults 60+.”

The council said COVID-19 secure environments with COVID-19 compliant behaviours appeared to be effective, adding it was absolutely vital that everyone was vigilant in maintaining social distance and minimising social contact.

It added transmission was linked to greater informal social mixing and family contacts.

“It is clear that mixing in social settings and between households, including young people’s households and wider family and friends, is spreading the virus,” it continued.

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