Doncaster Covid-19 cases increase but return to schools 'not to blame'

Doncaster has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, but the biggest rise is not due to the return of school children, health bosses have said.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 6:21 pm
Dr Rupert Suckling, director of public health at Doncaster Council

Dr Rupert Suckling, director of public health at Doncaster Council, said the biggest rise in Covid-19 cases was in the 20 to 29 year-old age category.

He said he put this down to transmission in workplaces and those who could not work from home.

Dr Suckling urged school children to refrain from mixing with each other outside of school settings to keep transmission as low as possible as ‘every single contact is an added risk’.

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Doncaster’s rate as of Friday, March 19 was 111 cases per 100,000. Central Doncaster and Hyde Park has the highest number of cases at 231 cases per 100,000 while Cusworth and Rossington recorded less than three cases in that week which does not return a per population figure.

Barnsley has some of the highest cases in the country with 173 cases per 100,000 followed by Hull and Peterborough.

Rotherham has a case rate of 136 per 100,000 while Sheffield has 99 per 100,000.

Dr Suckling said: ““Although a rise was expected due to the school’s reopening it does really emphasise the importance of needing to tread carefully as we walk the fine line of keeping our figures as low as possible while enabling more mixing as we travelled through the roadmap, whether children are not mixing in schools.

“Although we have seen the increase in rates of the 13 to 19 year old age group, a closer look at the data leads us to believe that this increase is not just due to the reopening in school.

“In fact, the biggest increase in cases across Doncaster currently is in the 20 to 29 year age group and again, this leads us to believe that the majority of transmission is happening, either in the workplace, or on the way to and from.

“If you can’t work from home, then I would urge you to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can to reduce your risk and take up the offer of testing is testing is not available in your workplace, then you can access where the community testing programmes in Hexthorpe, Stainforth or Conisbrough.”

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