South Tyneside has the highest case rate in the region after registering 1,311.5 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 12.
Data from Public Health England shows that the seven LA7 areas – South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, County Durham, Sunderland and Northumberland – continued to see an increase in cases.
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Sunderland has the second highest rate at 987.7, followed by Gateshead at 954.2 and Newcastle at 864.2, according to data from Public Health England.
Infection levels in South Tyneside were the highest in England, as Sunderland City Council issued a warning after the city recorded its highest level on record earlier in the week.
It comes as England prepares for Freedom Day on Monday, which will see the country move to step 4 on the roadmap to lift measures.
This will include removing the legal requirement to wear face masks, while nightclubs can reopen.
But public health officials are urging people to continue wearing face masks and not to give up hygiene measures such as regular hand washing that can help stop the spread of the virus.
Professor Eugene Milne, director of public health for Newcastle, told the municipal Council health control committee: “Beyond the 19th, be considerate, be careful and be kind. We strongly encourage people at this point, given our infection rates, to voluntarily continue to wear face coverings.
“Many places, I think, will ask – we will certainly ask for municipal buildings and public transport.
“It helps protect others. The pandemic is not over and the measures that reduced the spread throughout the pandemic will continue to do so.
“Be nice because other people will feel anxious about it. One of our problems is going to be to carefully reintroduce freedoms to people who are very afraid of where they are.
“The slower we get out of this, as the Chief Medical Officer pointed out, the better we are able to control the increase in cases that we are seeing right now and the sooner we can get back to a completely normal life. “
Gerry Taylor, executive director of public health and integrated commissioning, also urged people to continue doing many of the things they have done over the past year to protect each other.
She said: “As the Prime Minister has pointed out, while most of the legal restrictions are lifted, this is not a return to normal and we must continue to be very careful as we go. as we move forward.
“Locally, we are now seeing infection rates at the highest level we have ever seen and I encourage you to keep doing the things that have become second nature over the past year. Continue to wash your hands, wear face coverings in public places, remember to meet outdoors and keep your distance. “
Although concerns have been expressed, 20,000 people in County Durham aged 40 and over have not yet received their first dose.
A Durham County Council spokesperson said: “Almost 300,000 people in County Durham have accepted the offer of two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, which is great news.
“However, another 20,000 people aged 40 and over have not yet received their first dose, which is worrying. England move on to stage 4 of the roadmap on Monday July 19th and if you haven’t already protect yourself and our community by getting a hit.
“Vaccines protect most of us from serious illness and help reduce infections. For all the latest data, please visit http://durhaminsight.info/covid-19 . »
(Infection rates are the number of cases per 100,000 people. The data, taken from the UK government’s interactive Covid map, is correct for the week ending July 12)
South Tyneside 1,311.5 (1,980 cases, up 19.2%)
Sunderland 987.7 (2,743 cases, up 23.1%)
Gateshead 954.2 (1,928 cases, up 21.1%)
Newcastle 864.2 (2,617 cases, up 10.5%)
County Durham 768.0 (4,071 cases, up 13.2%)
North Tyneside 751.8 (1,563 cases, up 11.2%)
Northumberland 652.8 (2,105 cases, up 51.5%)