The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Devon County Council area over the past seven days has risen to 32, with clusters of three or more identified in Seaton, Teignmouth North and Bradninch, Silverton & Thorverton, as well as ‘in Mutley in Plymouth and Wellswood in Torbay.
However, compared to the rest of the country, “rates still remain low,” Devon Director of Public Health Dr Virginia Pearson said, adding that the increase in numbers was largely due to the return of residents of the country. Devon of trips abroad, having contracted coronavirus. infection while on vacation.
They were picked up by the NHS Test and Trace program upon their return to the country, and all proper containment procedures, including self-isolation, were followed, she added.
“These cases show how essential it is that we all remain extremely vigilant when traveling at home or abroad,” says Dr Pearson.
“The NHS testing and traceability system has done its job very well here, and we are confident that the risk of infection in the community is very low as residents act correctly and take the right action quickly.
“What this shows is that people have to be very careful when traveling abroad and must continue to respect social distancing, wash their hands regularly, avoid crowded places and wear headgear like indicated.
“If people get sick with symptoms of COVID-19 while they are away, they should avoid contact with others as much as possible, be careful when coming back from the airport, isolate yourself immediately when you get home and call 111 for advice on testing.
“Fortunately, in this case, our international travelers acted reasonably and followed this advice.
“People need to be aware of the risks associated with any overseas travel and be careful when they return, and be tested quickly if they feel sick.”
In the past week (August 19 to August 25) five cases were confirmed by specimen date in East Devon, eight in Exeter, nine in Mid Devon, two in North Devon, two in the South Hams, five in Teignbridge, one in Torridge, and none in West Devon, with ten more cases in Torbay and sixteen in Plymouth – some of these are linked to the BD factory in Roborough.
Other recently confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Devon are unrelated, Dr Pearson added, adding that in each case the necessary containment procedures were promptly followed.
“We have to remember, without being for a single moment complacent, that the rate of confirmed cases in Devon remains very low,” says Dr Pearson.
“This is how we want it to stay. We’ll see the numbers go up and down, but we all need to focus on what we can do to keep those numbers low. This means wearing a face mask in enclosed spaces (to protect others), keeping a safe distance – 2 meters if possible, washing your hands with soap and water often, and using hand sanitizer if the hand washing is not possible, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. “
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While the number of cases in Devon has increased, the number of people hospitalized has not increased. Only 16 people across the Southwest are currently in hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus – not necessarily admitted because of it – with numbers declining over the past week.
The latest figures available by Hospital Trust show that as of August 13 – when there were 15 people in the southwest at the hospital – only one of them was in Devon, with a patient in the Torbay hospital.
Following the cancellation of Team Devon’s planned local engagement committee for the outbreaks scheduled to be held tentatively today, which would have seen an increase in cases discussed, the Local Democracy Reporting Service requested to talk to a board member, but no one was available to talk. Devon County Council issued a statement which answered the majority of the questions allegedly asked.