The latest official figures show that Covid-19 infections in Cornwall have exploded over the past week, with areas around the G7 summit taking place last weekend now showing some of the highest infection rates in the world. UK.
Following an influx of tourists during the recent school semester and thousands of people flocking to Cornwall for the world leaders meeting, the rate of Covid-19 infections in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly during the week up to and including June 11 rose to 59.8 per 100,000 people compared to just 5.6 over the previous seven days.
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More localized data for Cornwall shows the case rate through June 11 for St Ives was 517.5 per 100,000, one of the highest in the country.
Other areas where G7 activity was taking place also saw a sharp increase, with cases in Falmouth reaching 382.1 per 100,000 in the week ending June 11. Falmouth welcomed media from around the world and many protesters at the summit.
Infection data also shows that the Indian variant (Delta) is now the dominant variant of the virus in Cornwall, as well as other UK holiday hotspots such as Devon, Dorset and the Lake District.
If rates continue to rise at their current rate, Cornwall’s health and tourism chiefs fear the county may be subject to local restrictions similar to those imposed in areas such as Greater Manchester, Bedford, Leicester and the London Borough of Hounslow earlier this month.
To stem the tide of infections, public health officials have encouraged residents to take two lateral flow tests per week and adhere to social distancing and disinfection protocols.
Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: ‘We ask everyone in the hospitality industry to help themselves stay safe and protect their co-workers by testing twice a day. week using rapid lateral flow tests.
“Although our case rate is still below the national average, it has risen sharply. Now is the time to act to bring the rate down. I urge everyone to make bi-weekly testing part of their routine so that we can identify cases even when people are not having any symptoms. Rapid lateral flow tests are free and can be picked up at your local pharmacy or ordered online ”
Public health consultant Dr Ruth Goldstein said the Delta variant dominated new cases, with unvaccinated under-30s being the hardest hit.
Dr Goldstein said the increase was due to people from Cornwall making the return trip during school holidays, as well as people entering.
She added: “It’s surprising how incredibly fast it spreads between people. “
Despite the sharp rise in infections, there is currently only one person with Covid-19 at Cornwall Hospital.
However, Malcom Bell, Managing Director of Visit Cornwall, pointed to a more immediate issue that is already leading to cancellation of vacation bookings on the board.
“We’ve already seen a number of hotel closures due to staff contracting the virus and others having to self-isolate as a result,” Bell said. “The typical hotel worker is in his twenties and has not yet been vaccinated. Infections are highly concentrated in the younger age groups, leading to a number of temporary hotel, bar and restaurant closures.
“Even though people can come to Cornwall, they might well have to take a picnic as staff levels are so low due to a lack of workers and Covid infections among those left that hotel companies do not just can’t open for lunch. . “
A spokesperson for Downing Street said: ‘We are aware of an increase in reported Covid cases in Cornwall, in line with the increase in the number of cases in many parts of the UK. All G7 Summit participants were tested prior to arriving in Cornwall and regularly throughout the Summit. We are not aware of any transmission from delegates to local residents, but we will continue to monitor the situation in the days and weeks to come. “