Sheffield's Covid case rate doubles in a week, as health chief offers advice for Christmas weekend

Sheffield’s health chief has offered advice about protecting others over Christmas, after Covid cases in the city more than doubled in one week.
Sheffield's rate of Covid infections has more than doubled week-on-week, according to the latest figuresSheffield's rate of Covid infections has more than doubled week-on-week, according to the latest figures
Sheffield's rate of Covid infections has more than doubled week-on-week, according to the latest figures

In the week leading up to December 11, the city saw 1,826 positive test cases. By December 18, the latest date for which reliable figures are available, that number had jumped to 3,812 in a week.

It means Sheffield’s infection rate per 100,000 people more than doubled from 309.9 to 647.0 in the space of seven days.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It comes as 94 per cent of local areas in the UK recorded a week-on-week rise in rates, according to the latest figures.

Read More
Key findings on severity of Omicron variant in UK to be published today

Speaking in a series of videos on December 22, the city’s director of public health, Greg Fell, called the national situation ‘sombre’.

"Sadly, there’s not much good news,” said Mr Fell.

“[Omicron has] frighteningly quick doubling times, it’s remarkably infectious and it has a massive transmission advantage over Delta.

Greg Fell, director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council, said the news was "somber" but urged the public not to forget basic measures to curb infections.Greg Fell, director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council, said the news was "somber" but urged the public not to forget basic measures to curb infections.
Greg Fell, director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council, said the news was "somber" but urged the public not to forget basic measures to curb infections.

"I hope it turns out to be less severe… Even if it less severe, the sheer numbers of a more transmissible virus will lead to more people being infected and that will lead to more people being poorly and possibly unsustainable pressure on the NHS and social care.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The figures, for the seven days to December 18, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in a lab-reported test, as well as positive rapid lateral flow tests that do not have a negative PCR test within 72 hours.

The infection rates week-on-week per 100,000 and the total number of recorded cases (in brackets) for South Yorkshire are:

Sheffield – 647.0, (3812), up from 309.9, (1826)

Barnsley – 395.0, (980), up from 354.7, (880)

Doncaster – 488.2, (1527), up from 356.5, (1115)

Rotherham – 577.0, (1529), up from 353.6, (937)

Data for the most recent four days (December 19 – 22) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Mr Fell asked the public to remember that regular testing of symptoms, mask-wearing and getting fully vaccinated and boosted were the best waya to curb the risk of serious disease.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “What’s happening now is it’s mainly amongst youngish adults and that’s just on account of who’s out mixing most.

"But that will not last. It will get into the larger population.

"It’s never too late to get fully vaccinated if you haven’t already been done.

“So, what to do? The same broad package of measures sadly. Most important of which is vaccination. Testing, if symptoms, and isolate. Regular use of lateral flow devices, especially prior to mixing, as close as possible to the event time wise.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Even if the test is negative, if you have symptoms that you think might be Covid, don’t socialise. There’s still potential for flu, there are still horrible nasty colds going around that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

"Apologies – it’s a sombre Christmas message, not one I wanted to be delivering. Thank you to all of you who have stuck with this programme over a very, very long period of time now, and hopefully (going) into spring we will see an easing of the situation.”