Cumbria’s director of public health has been baffled by Eden’s appearance in a list of areas where the Government sees coronavirus infection rates as a cause of concern.
Eden was one of 26 local authority areas across England included in a Government watch list where the risk of a second lockdown was considered to be high.
“There has been a small surge in the number of new cases in Eden over the past couple of weeks but generally speaking it (Eden) has turned things around now and seems to be going in the right direction,” said Colin Cox.
“I don’t know how it has ended up in that list of areas of concern.
“Eden has had very low levels of COVID-19. It has had a couple of cases but it is getting back down to very low levels following a little bit of a surge associated with a group of people going to pubs and going out to Carlisle as well.”
He said Eden has only got a small population and a single outbreak can inflate the per head of population figure, making it look concerning.
“The environmental health team at Eden District Council has been working very hard to break the chain of infections,” he said.
“They have been getting in touch with people who have tested positive, making sure they have been self-isolating and getting in touch with contacts.”
Despite ranking in the bottom third of the list, with an incidence per 100,000 population of 28.4, Eden had one of the highest daily testing rates — with a seven-day average of 264.2 tests being carried out.
The majority of areas listed — with a few exceptions — are testing around 100 people per day. Government figures also show that Eden is on a downward trend for new cases.
While the top three quarters of the list are at “intervention” or “enhanced support” status, Eden is rated as being at the lower “concern” level.
Topping the list, with an infection rate of 78.6 per 100,000 was Blackburn with Darwen, with Leicester second at a rate of 64.2 per 100,000.
Both areas were carrying out 300 to 400 tests per day and were on a downward trend for infection rates.