How St Albans’ coronavirus figures compare to the last time we went into lockdown

PUBLISHED: 09:40 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:44 24 September 2020

The Covid-19 infection rate in St Albans is on the way up, and is now almost double what it was before the March lockdown. Picture: Charles Thomson.

The Covid-19 infection rate in St Albans is on the way up, and is now almost double what it was before the March lockdown. Picture: Charles Thomson.

Archant

Daily coronavirus cases in St Albans are almost twice as high as they were in the week before the March lockdown.

As UK cases rise, government has announced new rules to stop an “exponential” spread of Covid-19, with cases were doubling every seven days.

In the week up to March 23, when lockdown began, St Albans recorded an average of 4.3 new cases per day.

But in the week up to September 14, the daily average was 7.4 new cases.

Robert Donald, in charge of wellbeing at St Albans Council, said: “The rate is up in St Albans and several places in Herts.”

Although the infection rate is now higher in places than it was before lockdown, hospital admissions remain low for now.

On March 23, 106 people in the east of England were hospitalised with the virus.

On September 20, only six people were admitted.

But in late August, St Albans had two Covid-19 hospital deaths – the first since early July.

There were also deaths in each of the preceding five weeks, in care homes and private residences.

Scientists stressed on Monday that there was no evidence that the virus had become less deadly.

They said new infections were currently concentrated among younger people, but they would inevitably spread it to older or more vulnerable contacts.

They added that current infection rates did not tell the whole story, as it often takes weeks for carriers to show symptoms and get tested.

This was why, despite going into lockdown on March 23, cases continued rising for weeks.

In the fortnight after lockdown began, rates in St Albans almost tripled from 4.3 cases per day to 12.

Now cases are rising again. On September 11, St Albans had 14 new cases in one day – its second-highest daily figure to date.

Cllr Donald urged residents not to become complacent.

He said: “People see the rates are falling, the government keeps changing its mind, the rules are not always clear, their own officials have broken the rules.

“Then you have a more normal situation, like the last three months. People’s guard goes down. It’s human nature. I think it’s just because they don’t perceive that it’s a risk anymore.

“But everybody should still be on their guard. It’s still just as deadly.”


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