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08 April 2021

Cumbrians reassured about AZ vaccine as new COVID-19 cases drop

As the county prepares for the next step in the easing of lockdown rules new COVID-19 cases dropped to numbers last seen in September, with 81 new infections recorded in week ending 2 April, down from 134 the previous week.

While there was some variation between districts, the infection rate in Cumbria (16/100k) remains below national and regional averages (38/100k and 44/100k respectively).

The number of patients in hospital and new admissions to hospital also decreased.

The vaccination programme continued to roll out across the county, with data up to week ending 1 April showing almost two thirds of eligible Cumbrians having had their first vaccine dose. The recent announcements relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine are not anticipated to significantly affect the programme.

Easing lockdown restrictions from 12 April will see non-essential retail reopen along with outdoor opening of hospitality venues. Social contact rules remain unchanged, people can still only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or two households, outdoors.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said:

“The number of new cases remains low and that is excellent. Restrictions will ease a little more from Monday and I’d just ask people to remember to follow the social contact rules to help drive infections down even further.

“The announcements about the AstraZeneca vaccine this week may be causing some people concern, but I’d want to reassure people that the vaccine remains very safe and effective and that this is actually our medicines regulation system doing its job. Even for younger people the balance of risk is still strongly in favour of vaccination and because we have multiple different vaccines have the flexibility to tweak the programme as issues arise. If I am offered the AstraZeneca vaccine, I will certainly accept it.”

The weekly COVID-19 situation report for Cumbria can be found at www.cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread, it shows:

  • There were 81 new cases in Cumbria (a decrease of 53, -40%, from 134 cases in the previous week);
  • For the 7th week in a row, Allerdale had the greatest number of new cases (+26 new cases);
  • Barrow-in-Furness replaced Copeland in having the highest rate of new cases (28 new cases per 100k population);
  • Rates in all Cumbrian districts were below both the national and regional average rates (38 and 44 new cases per 100k population respectively);
  • New cases decreased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts except Barrow-in-Furness;
  • New cases in Barrow-in-Furness equalled new cases in the previous week (0% change);
  • The 50-59 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria, followed by the 30-39, 12-18 and 40-49 age groups;
  • The only age group to experience an increase in new cases from the previous week was the 80+ age group, however, it is important to note that numerically this increase was extremely small (2 new cases up from 1 new case in the previous week). 

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As the county prepares for the next step in the easing of lockdown rules new COVID-19 cases dropped to numbers last seen in September, with 81 new infections recorded in week ending 2 April, down from 134 the previous week.