BARROW continues to record the highest rate of new Covid-19 cases in Cumbria.

The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to drop in week ending November 19, down from 1997 to 1653 (a 17 per cent drop).

This is the fourth consecutive week that cases have dropped, but numbers remain over 40 times higher than in the summer and cases rates are high.

In response Cumbrians are encouraged to take three simple steps:

• Get vaccinated. If you’ve not been vaccinated now, it’s not too late; if you have, get your booster vaccination if you are eligible (currently over 40s) to keep your protection ‘topped-up’.

• If you have covid symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get tested. If you are negative your self-isolation can end.

• Use Lateral Flow Testing sensibly before visiting crowded places where the virus can easily be passed on.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “We have definitely passed the peak of this current wave, but it is unlikely to be the last. Other parts of the country are seeing case rates rising again and it could happen here too.

“This week I’ve been hearing a lot of comment from people surprised by how unwell they have felt with Covid, despite being vaccinated.

"The vaccine does reduce your chance of getting Covid but doesn’t guarantee you won’t get it.

"What it’s very good at doing is protecting you from becoming so ill that you need hospital treatment, but even that protection does reduce a bit over time.

"That’s why Government has been opening up the booster vaccination programme to younger age groups.

"Now anyone over 40 can book if their last dose was more than five months ago, and I really urge people to do that, so they have the best possible protection against getting ill.”

For the second week in a row Barrow had the highest rate of new cases (471 new cases per 100k population).

Rates in Barrow were above the national and regional average rates (England 424 and North West 381 new cases per 100k population respectively).

For the second week in a row the the five to 11 age group had the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria (+339 new cases) and also had the greatest rate of new cases in Cumbria (913 new cases per 100k population).

New cases in the under 50 age group accounted for 76 per cent of total new cases (compared to 72 per cent in the previous week).