Sheffield placed on the Government’s coronavirus watchlist
Sheffield has been placed on the Government’s coronavirus watchlist as the number of confirmed cases in the city continues to rise.
It comes amid a rise in the number of positive cases nationally, with restrictions on household mixing tightened in parts of the West Midlands.
Sheffield and Merseyside have been added to the list as ‘areas of concern’. No additional restrictions will be put in place at this stage. Should cases continue to rise, it is likely Sheffield would be escalated to an ‘area of enhanced support’ before any national intervention.
Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region Mayor, said: “While it’s obviously concerning that Sheffield has been placed on the Government’s coronavirus watchlist, all of our South Yorkshire local authorities have seen their infection rates significantly increase over the past week.
“I’m working closely with the city council and local partners and we will not hesitate, if necessary, to introduce further measures to help control the spread of the virus. I’ll be pressing Government ministers to ensure we have the resources we need to get the virus under control."
Earlier this week Mr Jarvis said the coronavirus infection rate had at least doubled in every local authority area in the region. In the week ending September 5, there were 192 confirmed cases of Covid-19 recorded across Sheffield – a weekly infection rate of 32.8 new cases per 100,000 people. That is the latest infection data publicly available.
Mr Jarvis continued: “Sheffield and much of South Yorkshire is on the precipice, there is a very real risk that we could see a sustained rise in infections which would put at risk the gains we’ve made. We all need to work together to bring us back to safety.
“I’m asking every South Yorkshire resident to do their bit to protect each other: our families, friends and neighbours – otherwise we risk being placed under tougher lockdown measures."
On Friday Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, criticised the Government’s “shambolic” management of coronavirus testing after being contacted by several constituents who have been told to travel hundreds of miles for a test.
Ms Haigh said: “The Government’s handling of Covid testing has been utterly shambolic. People want to be responsible and follow Government guidelines but are being foiled by a testing system which is clearly close to breaking point.”