STRICT Coronavirus restrictions will remain in place after it was decided Barrow will remain in Tier 2.

Simon Fell, the Barrow and Furness MP, said this was 'absolutely the right decision’ as the county's public health boss said the town was ‘still an area of significant concern’.

844 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Cumbria in the week ending October 23, up from 722 the previous week.

Carlisle has overtaken Barrow as having the highest number of new cases (251).

But Barrow still has the highest rate of ‘new cases per 100,000 population’ for the seventh week running.

Barrow and Carlisle’s rates are both higher than the national average. Barrow is 267 per 100,00 Carlisle is 231 per 100,000 and the national average is 170 per 100,000.

Colin Cox, director of public health in Cumbria, said: “This week’s data continues to give us cause for concern with an increase in cases across our county, except in Barrow. But Barrow remains above the national average so is still an area of significant concern.

"We want to ask everyone in Cumbria to remain vigilant, stay safe and follow the law.

"I also want to thank residents for all the effort they are making to keep family and friends safe despite these challenging times and although it is hard it is essential that this effort continues."

Overall there has been an increase in ‘new cases’ in all of Cumbria’s boroughs except Barrow.

The Health Protection Board agreed that Barrow should remain a High Alert area.

Mr Fell said: “This is absolutely the right decision for Barrow.

“As a result of people digging in, the rate of infection in the community has levelled off and might even be declining.

“This is remarkable and thanks to a huge effort from everyone across the borough.

“We can’t relax as our numbers are still too high and we are seeing more hospitalisations thanks to this horrible virus but it’s a firm step in the right direction.”

This week’s data also shows that for the second week in a row the 45-59 year old age group accounted for the highest number of new cases in Cumbria.

There continued to be an increase in the number of patients admitted with Covid-19 and patients with Covid-19 in hospital beds compared to the previous week.

Mr Cox said: “This situation in Carlisle does give us cause for concern as the increase in new cases has been very fast and it may be that further action is needed to stop the spread, but this will require further discussion.

“Finally, it remains the case that if people follow the guidance, reduce social contact, wash hands and wear a face covering then we can reduce infections and avoid the need to increase local alert levels.”

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