The rate of new coronavirus cases being confirmed in Exeter has fallen below the national average, Devon’s Deputy Director for Public Health Devon has confirmed.
Following the spike in cases linked to the University at the end of September and the start of this month, Exeter had at one stage been in the top 10 areas for cases per population.
But Steve Brown, the Deputy Director for Public Health Devon has today confirmed that Exeter case numbers are now back to ‘broadly’ the national average.
The rate of new cases per population in England is 175.4 per 100,000, with Exeter’s rate at 156 per 100,000, with new cases and cases by specimen date continuing to fall.
As a whole, Devon’s rate is 64.4 per 100,000, with every other district being below that figure, and it is 99.1 per 100,000 in Torbay.
Mr Brown said that cases among the university student population have come down, thanks largely to measures introduced by the university, including restrictions to prevent student households mixing, as well as the compliance of students to adhere to the tighter rules.
And that while case numbers across the county are rising in line with the national trend, but they remain below the English average overall.
He said: “When we look at those people who are testing positive for COVID we are seeing an increase in the age profile. So we’re seeing now working age and older adults who are testing positive for COVID-19. Again (that’s) similar to what we see across the country.
“The reduction in cases in Exeter is great news and testament to all the work that the university and colleagues have done.
“While the numbers are low in Devon at the moment, it’s really important that we do all we can to maintain that. We want to make sure that we stay in the medium tier, so it’s really important that everyone adheres to those key guidance and messages.
“Keep your social distance – ideally to a minimum of two metres – and make sure that you wash your hands properly and regularly, and wear face coverings where required and appropriate.”
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Appealing to those who are currently self-isolating, Mr Brown said: “As cases increase, more and more people will be asked to self-isolate, either as a consequence of being tested positive or indeed identified as a close contact.
“It’s absolutely vital that if you are asked to self-isolate, or instructed to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace, that you do so.
“This is absolutely important to ensure that we do all that we can to reduce onward transmission.”
Case rates in East Devon are 54 per 100,000, with Exeter at 156, Mid Devon 49.8, North Devon 41.2, the South Hams 55.2, Teignbridge 49.2, Torridge 17.6, and West Devon 46.6.