Coronavirus (COVID-19) Image by Philip Steury AdobeStock_332281171.jpg

Coronavirus infections are still high, but “they are starting to decline”

New local data from Public Health England and the Joint Biosecurity Centre, working with Bedford Borough Council, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Commissioning Collaborative have been released as part of a ‘deep dive’ in Bedford Borough, shows that while Coronavirus infections are still high in the Borough, they are “starting to decline”.

The interim findings of the deep dive, which was issued today (6 July 2020), outlines that women between 30-59 have been the most affected in the borough.

While there were no ‘hot spots’ in the general population the interim findings identified the highest number of cases in areas around the town centre.

Ahead of the publication of a final report work is continuing. This will include detailed analysis of local data about coronavirus cases to help the early identification of any local clusters.

While the initial findings suggests the rate of infection looks to be improving, it remains high compared to other areas and caution is being urged to help slow the spread of the virus.

Measures to continue the downward trajectory of infection have already been put in place. Such as improving testing facilities at Bedford Hospital, to allow for a faster turn-around of test results. Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said:

“These interim findings identified that while rates remain higher than other areas in the South there are early indications they are declining. Work will continue to put in place measures that will help us tackle this pandemic and provide the data we need to identify local outbreaks. We all need to play our part though.”

If you go out continue to observe the 2m social distancing policy, wear a face covering – especially on public transport and wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or hand sanitiser if that is unavailable.

Anyone with symptoms, including a new persistent cough, high temperature or a change or loss of taste or smell should immediately self-isolate and arrange a test via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

David Carter, ceo, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“This interim findings captures some of the positive steps we have taken, working with our local partners, to ensure that we are best prepared to manage the continuing challenge of COVID-19 in our community.

“Our staff continue to work tirelessly to ensure that we can provide the very best care, and I’d like to thank them for their continued efforts to keep people safe.”

Patricia Davies, accountable officer, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“The ‘Deep Dive’ has been a tremendous example of the NHS and local government working together, to safeguard public health in Bedford Borough and while we hope this will help to reassure local residents, we would urge everyone to take care when outside of the home.

“Coronavirus remains to be in our community and so keeping a social distance, covering our faces and washing our hands frequently is essential to ensure we don’t see a spike in cases in the weeks ahead.”

The interim findings are available at www.bedford.gov.uk/covid19.