The latest official data shows that more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in Cumbria.
Cumbria County Council’s cabinet were told about the latest figures at a meeting this morning.
The Office of National Statistics data shows there were 1,066 deaths up to the week ending January 22, with a new high of 95 COVID-19 deaths during that week.
A COVID-19 death is any that occurs within 28 days of a positive test for COVID-19.
As a result of current lockdown restrictions, new infections continued to fall in the week ending 29 January, but over 1,300 people in the county tested positive in that week
All Cumbria’s hospitals continue to treat unprecedented numbers of patients with COVID-19, with high numbers seriously ill or requiring intensive care.
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health, said: “We’ve known we would pass 1,000 deaths though seeing it in the official figures is stark and my thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one.
“While the fall in new infections is very welcome, infection rates are still high and the position in our hospitals remains extremely serious, with numbers continuing to grow in the south of the county.
“It’s not just that people are being hospitalised, it’s that more of them are very seriously ill and staying in hospital for long periods.
“That puts a huge strain on hospital services and hospital staff. They are coping, just, but it’s not sustainable.
“I understand how tired people are of lockdown, I am too. With where we are now it is still too soon to ease up.
“I encourage everyone to stick with it, keep making those tough decisions to put off meeting friends and family for a while longer. We have to get infections rates right down to avoid yet another resurgence.”
For week ending 29 January:
- There were 1,321 new cases in Cumbria (a decrease of 599, -31%, from 1,920 cases in the previous week);
- For the seventh week in a row Carlisle had the greatest number of new cases (+380 new cases);
- Carlisle also had the highest rate of new cases for the fiftth week in a row (350 new cases per 100,000 population);
- Rates in Carlisle, Allerdale and Barrow-in-Furness were above the national average rate (England = 268 new cases per 100k population);
- Rates in Carlisle and Allerdale were also above the regional average rate (North West = 299 new cases per 100k population);
- New cases decreased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts, with the smallest proportional decrease in Allerdale (-17 per cent) and the biggest proportional decrease in Copeland (-43 per cent).
- New hospital admissions for people with COVID-19 fell in the north of the county but increased in the south.
Council leader Stewart Young said: “Today, official data published by the county’s Health Protection Board confirms that over 1,000 Cumbrians have now died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
“That is a sobering milestone that should cause us all to stop and reflect.
“A year ago, we felt things like this couldn’t happen here, it was something we saw on the news from abroad.
“Now the UK has over 100,000 dead and most of us know of someone who has been seriously ill or died.
“This is a tragedy and my thoughts and sympathies are with the families and friends of all those who have lost their life.
“And the stark reality is that number will increase before we get the pandemic fully under control.
“Through this adversity we have however also seen the best of our county: the way our health and care services have responded with skill and determination; how communities have pulled together to support each other; how our nurseries, schools, colleges and universities have dealt with constantly changing guidance to keep our young people learning; how our local businesses have battled to continue trading and keep people employed. I want to thank everyone for doing their bit to keep us going.
“We’re now at a point where there is hope.
“The vaccination programme is making fantastic progress, the current lockdown has driven down infection rates.
“But we’re not there yet and we cannot let our guard down.
“We have seen, repeatedly now, how easy it is for this virus to gain the upper hand if we don’t do all we can to stop the spread.
“So, keep going Cumbria, this is hard, but together we will come through the other side.”