Stevenage COVID-19 cases fall as Herts death toll doubles
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Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are starting to decline in most areas of Stevenage, but there has been a significant increase in COVID-related deaths in Hertfordshire.
Latest figures, discussed at Stevenage Borough Council's COVID-19 Executive Committee meeting last week, show confirmed coronavirus cases across the town have now plateaued and are starting to come down in most wards, with the exception of Woodfield and Old Town, Longmeadow and Manor.
From January 7 to 13, the case rate in Stevenage ranges from a low of 536.3 per 100,000 population in Martins Wood to 824.4 in St Nicholas.
The case rate in Symonds Green has significantly reduced, halving from 1394.2 per 100,000 in the first week of January - when Herts County Council said the infection rate was "extremely high" due to the new COVID-19 variant - to 614.1 in the week to January 14.
However, the latest data also shows COVID-related deaths in Hertfordshire more than doubling - up to 160 between January 2 and 8, compared to 78 the previous week. This includes seven Stevenage residents, bringing the town's total COVID-related deaths to 89.
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"The effects of the latest national lockdown on death figures will likely not be seen for another few weeks, and it will likely take until February at the earliest before we start to see the impact of the vaccination programme on mortality," the committee's report says.
The report also says that the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has delivered about 10,000 COVID-19 vaccinations so far, about 1,000 people daily are being given the jab at the mass vaccination centre in Stevenage, and residents and staff in more than 85 care homes in Hertfordshire have now been vaccinated.
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In Herts, 50 per cent of care homes for older people are known to have a COVID-19 outbreak, the report says, adding: "Pressure is growing in care homes and deaths are sadly increasing."
Death registration in the county remains high, with 50 per cent indicating COVID-19 as a cause.
Rapid testing for key workers began in Hertfordshire last Wednesday, and Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre is earmarked as a rapid test centre. To book a key worker rapid test, visit hertfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtest