Top health chief 'sceptical' about Tier 2 having impact on number of Doncaster Covid-19 cases

Doncaster’s top public health chief has said he is ‘sceptical’ that new measures brought in will reverse the trend of rising Covid-19 cases and the borough could end up in the higher risk category.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 4:45 pm

Dr Rupert Suckling, director of public health in Doncaster, said the rate of infection is doubling every week but the main category is in the 15-34 year-olds.

But he said hospital admissions were on the rise and infection rates were beginning to spread to older age groups, including those over 65.

Asked if he thought the restrictions went far enough, Dr Suckling said: “My honest assessment of it is the number of infections are going up, hospital admissions are going up and national restriction levels now classes as medium or Tier 1 - Doncaster has been in that category for four weeks and it has not made a difference.

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Dr Rupert Suckling

“I’m sceptical the additional restrictions that Doncaster is in - with no households mixing indoors - is not going to make a sufficient impact to bring the numbers down.”

Doncaster along with South Yorkshire is now in the ‘high risk’ category. On top of the rule of six and the 10pm curfew, households mixing indoors is now forbidden.

The current infection rate stands at around 224 cases per 100,000 for Doncaster. Sheffield has 435, Barnsley 320 and Rotherham 293.

Across hospitals in Doncaster and Mexborough, there are around 80 people in hospital with Covid-19. The last time it was that high was late May.

“The best case scenario is we’re in Tier 2 and the 300,000 residents take responsibility and do the right thing - self isolate and get tested and tell contacts they need to if they’ve spent time with them,” Dr Suckling added.

“But if people continue to do what they’re doing and the restrictions have the same level of impact that it’s had in the North West/Liverpool then we could find ourselves in Tier 3.

“Parts of West Yorkshire for example have had additional restrictions for a number of months and it’s not gone away there. My concern is additional restrictions in this current tier will not stop us going into Tier 3.”

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