Devon at medium risk level in three-tier lockdown system

Devon, including the city of Exeter, is in the ‘medium’ Covid risk category of the country’s new alert system, it is understood.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to parliament on Monday that all areas of the country would be placed in one of three tiers to reflect the severity of the coronavirus spread.

Those tiers are Medium (1), High (2) and Very High (3).

Devon Live understands all of the county is in Medium tier – so will not face any further restrictions.

Dr Virginia Pearson
Dr Virginia Pearson

Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, said: “The number of cases across the county have risen in line with the national increase, but case numbers in seven out of our eight District areas still remain lower than the national average. That is important to stress to Devon residents.

“In Exeter however, like so many University cities, we have seen numbers rising significantly, centred mostly around the university’s student population.

“More than 80 per cent of all cases in Exeter are linked to the University. Those infections have in the main been within and between households and residences, not in educational settings.”

Devon cluster map

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The PM gave details about the new three-tier system, designed to stem the spike in coronavirus cases and ease pressure on the NHS.

Latest Covid cases
Latest Covid cases

There were concerns that Exeter could be placed in the Very High or Tier 3 category. That would have meant bars and gyms closing and a complete ban on household mixing. But only Merseyside was placed under such restrictions.

In the full list of areas made available this evening, Devon is in the Medium tier along with most of the country. It means the continuation of current restrictions, including the ‘rule of six’ and table service in bars.

High is for those areas which have seen a spike in cases, such as Greater Manchetser, and prevents all social mixing between households.

“Last week the University introduced additional measures, on top of their already comprehensive strategy to stop infection, that include extending the restriction of movement between their student households, and enhanced cleaning regimes on campus and within their student accommodation.

“Non-university student cases in the city are lower than the national average, so there is no evidence yet of significant spread of the virus between student and non-student populations in the city.

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“The overall number of patients with COVID-19 in Devon’s hospitals remains relatively low and we are well prepared as we begin to head into winter.

“I ask everyone to all continue to work together to stop the spread. Follow the guidance by keeping social distanced, wash your hands regularly and wear face coverings where required.”

Devon Live – Devon News