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Stratford district leader responds to rise in covid cases ahead of tier review announcement

Catherine Thompson 16th Dec, 2020 Updated: 16th Dec, 2020

CORONAVIRUS cases in Stratford district have seen a sharp rise.

The district has seen an increase of 70 cases between December 5 to 11 taking it to 99 per 100,000.

And in neighbouring Warwick district, cases have increased by 111 on the previous week, to 187 per 100,000 people – higher than anywhere else in Warwickshire, Coventry or Solihull.

The Tier 3 announcement, following the end of lockdown on December 2, sent shockwaves across the district which had previously been in Tier 1. At this point, cases in Stratford were just over 70 in 100,000.

The unexpected decision – which had taken into account higher case numbers in North Warwickshire and surrounding Coventry and Solihull – prompted Coun Jefferson to pursue legal action against the government.

But the case was dropped after health secretary Matt Hancock reassured the area would be considered on its own merit.

Ahead of tomorrow’s tier announcement, Coun Jefferson told the Observer: “I think the key points going forwards are if our cases start falling and the rest of Warwickshire goes high, the opportunity to set Stratford as a separate local authority is important.

“It’s disappointing rates are going up – but we’re still one of the lowest areas in Tier 3 and in Warwickshire. A lot depends on how the government weight the various factors. On one hand we are low, but on the other rates are going up.

“I also think there will be a bounce after Christmas similarly to what Canada and the US have seen after Thanksgiving.”

Meanwhile Warwick District Council leader Andrew Day believes the rise is due to the country coming out of lockdown and a number of cases in local schools.

He said: “This virus responds when people start mixing and moving. Most cases have been coming out of schools in particular.

“We have been getting out, going back to the shops and people are getting ready for Christmas, I think that is probably behind it. I also think there is a bit of fatigue, people not wearing their masks properly or washing their hands as frequently.

“But numbers have gone up and they will go down again.”

Cases have also risen in Rugby rising from 45 to 151 cases, Coventry increasing by 88 to 153 cases per 100,000 and Solihull up by 31 to 165.

Nuneaton and Bedworth is the only place to reduce, dropping by 31 to 159 cases in 100,000

The announcement following today’s tier review is expected at 10am tomorrow.

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