Coronavirus: Only one confirmed case in Stevenage but residents urged to remain ‘vigilant’

The borough council has reminded residents to stay 'ever vigilant'. Picture: Jacob Savill

The borough council has reminded residents to stay 'ever vigilant'. Picture: Jacob Savill - Credit: Archant

Coronavirus is on the verge of being suppressed in Stevenage it has emerged, with only one new case confirmed in the town last week.

The borough council has pleaded with residents to remain “ever vigilant” however, and warned that the “picture can change within a couple of days” – as seen by local outbreaks elsewhere in the country.

At a meeting of SBC’s executive last Wednesday, leader Sharon Taylor warned of an increasing danger “that people will now think this is all done and dusted,” which could “not be further from the truth”.

Cllr Taylor said: “We are still living with live community transmission. Luckily the case numbers are low in Stevenage, but we’ve seen in other parts of the country how quickly this can change.”

Overall, there were a reported 56 new COVID-19 cases in Hertfordshire last week – down from 14 the previous week – as the county and borough councils continue to stay in control of virus suppression.

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However, some concerns remain over the county’s proximity to the local outbreak in Luton, and specifically the number of workers who commute into Stevenage each day.

Cllr Taylor said: “A worker who lives in Luton but works in Stevenage is expected to be dealt with by Bedfordshire public health teams. The issue is that local contacts in Luton don’t always know the work place environments, or the people they come into contact with here in Stevenage.”

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Stevenage Borough Council coordinates its own ‘outbreak management cell’ which has built a register of high-risk public settings to help prevent outbreaks at, for example, council buildings and offices. Schools, care homes and the NHS continue to be dealt with at county level.

Cllr Taylor said that recent successes have proven how the virus response is “far more effective” at borough level, including “helping the homeless, contact tracing and shielding vulnerable residents.”

“The success is a testament to our local teams on the ground, knowing their patch,” Cllr Taylor said. “It has proved over the last few weeks that providing these services is not really possible from a national, or even county level.”

After last month’s ‘Recovery Summit,’ SBC is now working on a new “ambitious action plan” for the town’s future recovery.

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