Sheffield's coronavirus infection rate falls - but stark warning issued

Coronavirus still poses a “very real threat” in Sheffield and South Yorkshire despite the city’s infection rate falling in recent days, it has been claimed.

By Steve Jones
Friday, 21st August 2020, 11:14 am

After a spike of 21.9 cases per 100,000 of the population on 14 August, Sheffield’s infection rate has gradually fallen in the days since to 15.4 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday (20 August).

Ninety positive cases were confirmed in the seven days to 20 August, compared to 128 in the week leading up to August 14.

But the situation remains “precarious”, with cases in South Yorkshire still above the national average, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis warned.

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Shoppers wear face masks in the city centre of Sheffield (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Jarvis said: “Coronavirus still poses a very real threat, and in South Yorkshire the situation remains precarious, with the latest data showing a significantly higher rate of infection than the national average.

"We have just regained many aspects of normal life, but if cases rise beyond acceptable levels, we will have no alternative but to give them up once more.”

Ruth Granger, health protection manager for Sheffield Council said the city’s infection rate is fluctuating on a weekly from around 13 and 17 new cases per 100,000 people and Sheffield is not currently in danger of a local lockdown. In Manchester, where stricter measures remain in place due to a high number of confirmed cases, the infection rate for the seven days to August 17 was 49.0.

Mr Jarvis said people in Sheffield and South Yorkshire “must not become complacent” as life slowly returns to normal with the reopening of shops, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and other places.

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis.

He added: "I’m continuing to work with our local authorities and the NHS to assess the situation in South Yorkshire. We are closely monitoring the data and will act quickly if we do need to introduce further measures to reduce the spread of the virus in our region.

“We need everyone in South Yorkshire to continue following the rules so we can make more progress and further relax the lockdown measures – rather than having to make them stricter.”