Doncaster Covid rates fall as health boss says: "Stop taking unnecessary risks"

Coronavirus infection rates in Doncaster have plummeted – but a health boss has urged people to stop taking unnecessary risks over fears the town could be left behind as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 7:43 am

Infection rates in Doncaster have seen a sharp drop in recent days – the biggest fall in Yorkshire.

But Doncaster health boss Dr Rupert Suckling says that the figures are still too high – and that local people now need to knuckle down and do their bit so Doncaster is not subjected to further lockdown measures.

Dr Suckling, director of Public Health in Doncaster said: “In Doncaster, our cases are still high and we haven’t seen the same drop in infection rates that other parts of the country currently have.

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Dr Rupert Suckling.

“Although the roadmap is looking at a national approach, it does mention that if regional disparities are seen then some areas may have to take a different path. I am determined to make sure that Doncaster is not left behind in the re-opening of our society, but in order to do this we do have a lot of work to do collectively to get the numbers down over coming weeks and to minimise the impact on the NHS.

“As I said last week, we are seeing the majority of our cases in working age adults, a lot of which can be traced back to workplaces where socially distancing can be very difficult.

" I have written to all businesses across Doncaster today to discuss this issue and how we can work together to potentially address it. One thing I have encouraged businesses to do is to work with their staff to set-up ways of conducting regular asymptomatic testing to try and break the chains of infection by identifying those with the virus who are not displaying symptoms.

“I would also like to ask you to think about if you are currently taking unnecessary risks. I know you have been asked to live under restrictions for almost a year now and it is becoming more and more difficult and I am thankful for all you have sacrificed up to this point, however we do need one last big push if we want to reach June 21 in a position where we can have all restrictions lifted.

If you currently are taking unnecessary risks, such as car sharing with a colleague to work, my ask is that you don’t and find other alternatives if you can, these next few weeks are probably the most important we have had locally during this pandemic. Everything we are doing now does make a difference so please try not to become complacent about things such as socially distancing in the supermarket, do keep your space and wear face coverings – and if we all do the little things we will get big results.”

Doncaster’s current coronavirus infection rate stands at 154.5 per 100,000 people, down from a rate of 199.7 for the previous reporting period up to February 18.

There have been more than 700 coronavirus deaths in Doncaster during the pandemic.