Doncaster health chief welcomes drop in town's Covid cases but warns against complacency

A Doncaster health chief has welcomed a drop in the town’s Covid-19 infection rate, but has warned against complacency as the fight against coronavirus goes on.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 16th November 2020, 10:02 am

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health in Doncaster, said he was ‘pleased’ that there had been a reduction in the number of coronavirus cases in the town in recent days.

But he says rates remain ‘very high’ and that people should continue to follow the restrictions with England still in lockdown until December 2.

In his weekly update, he said: “I’m pleased to say that we’ve started to see a small reduction in the number of new cases of Coronavirus.

Dr Rupert Suckling

“Our rate still remains very high and is way above the national average but these are definitely green shoots and should be welcomed and show that the sacrifices we have all been making over recent weeks by following the Tier 3 and then National Restrictions are starting to pay off.

“Our current rate is 479 per 100,000 people and this is a reduction from a high of 568 per 100,000 people 10 days ago.

“I've also been asked about the percentage of people who test positive locally and this is currently 16.4%. This is down from a high of 18%.

“This week, you may have seen that Doncaster was listed as one of 67 councils the government plans to give more control of Coronavirus testing to. Following this news, we have been working with the government and our partners across South Yorkshire to start looking at the details of how this could work in Doncaster. Areas we have been discussing include eligibility criteria, timescales, and any additional resources we might require.

“At this point, we do not know precisely when this might be coming to Doncaster or exactly what it will look like but I will continue to keep you updated as our plans progress.

“Testing is a really important part of our efforts to get Coronavirus rates under control locally, and I would urge anybody experiencing any of the 3 key symptoms (a cough, fever and loss of taste and smell) to get a test immediately no matter how mild your symptoms may be.

“We do have lots of testing capacity locally and are confident that those that need tests will be able to get one quickly and locally within Doncaster.

“We now have three weeks of the national restrictions remaining and I would urge everyone to keep following the guidelines and help us continue to push our rates down as much as possible ahead of the 2nd December, when the government will be looking at how we come out of the national restrictions at a local level.

“Please remember to keep washing your hands, covering your face and keeping your space from anyone you do not live with.”