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Hertsmere – ‘Area of concern’

The government has added Hertsmere as an ‘area of concern’ to a list of areas with higher than average coronavirus cases.

In the past few weeks, Hertsmere has seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and from today [11 September] has been added to the government’s watch list, alongside a number of areas across the UK.

The government data, released today, now shows that the infection rate in Hertsmere is 63.34 per 100,000 population over the last seven days, one of the highest in the country.  From 24 August, there have been a total of 94 cases in Hertsmere, with 39 of those affected aged under 20.

Its watch list is based on Public Health England’s (PHE’s) weekly surveillance reports monitoring local authority areas with elevated numbers of cases.

It has three categories for local councils – ‘area of concern’, ‘area of enhanced support’ and ‘area of intervention’. An area of concern is the lowest level requiring targeted local actions to reduce further infection numbers.

Cllr Morris Bright MBE, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council said: “This is a worrying time but over recent days we’ve been doing a lot of proactive work following up contact tracing, visiting business premises to remind them of the need to follow the rules and engaging with local community leaders. This will continue, with increased spot checks and enforcement activity where needed.

“As always, our communities in Hertsmere have really come together. Our focus right now is to work with partners to contain the spread of the virus whilst keeping priority services, including schools, open wherever possible.

“Please let’s all work together to keep Hertsmere as safe as we can during these difficult times.”

Cllr Tim Hutchings, Executive Member for Public Health in Hertfordshire said: “We welcome this latest attention and endorsement of the robust warnings that we have been making within the local community, and the need to adhere to the rules. These include the enhanced rules announced yesterday for gatherings, social distancing and the need to self-isolate.

“We hope this move will bring additional government support, including additional testing for keyworkers in this area, faster access to data, enhanced resources for contact tracing and improved co-ordination with London.”

Dr Deepti Kumar, Consultant in the Communicable Disease, Public Health England East said: “We have been working closely with Hertfordshire County Council to understand the factors that have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 in Hertfordshire and implement local control measures.

“The county council and all district councils in Hertfordshire have been working very hard to keep their residents and visitors safe. Everyone needs to play their part to control the spread of the virus and prevent the need for more stringent interventions which may be required if the upward trend in local numbers of COVID-19 cases continues.

“I urge all Hertsmere residents to follow advice by maintaining social distancing, good hand hygiene and wearing face coverings where required.”

For local advice and guidance on COVID-19, visit Hertfordshire County Council’s website at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

A short video clip has been recorded by Leader of our Council, Cllr Morris Bright MBE:







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