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21 January 2021

New infections drop, but hospitals treating more than ever

New COVID-19 infections dropped by 25% in week ending 15 January, down 868 to 2632.

By contrast the county’s hospitals are now treating more COVID-19 patients than ever before, with 379 people now receiving care. This reflects the delay between people becoming infected and then needing hospital treatment.

A further 53 people have sadly died, bringing the total to 886.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said:

“We have hopefully passed the peak of infection in the community, but we may not yet have reached the peak of hospital admissions. We have never seen this number of seriously ill people in our hospitals before and it is putting an incredible strain on the NHS.

“There is absolutely no question that we remain in an extremely serious situation and it is vital that infection levels continue to drop. A 25% reduction sounds good, but last week was still the second highest ever for new infections.

“Lockdown is working, and I absolutely recognise the efforts people are making to stick to the rules. We just have to stick with it for a while longer. I know this is causing real difficulties for some and I’d like to remind people that support is available, whether it’s about food, money, housing or mental health, via the county’s COVID-19 support line.”

People can call the county council's Support Helpline on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4.30pm).

Overall, in Cumbria:
  • For the 5th week in a row Carlisle had the greatest number of new cases (+924 new cases); 
  • Carlisle also had the highest rate of new cases for the 3rd week in a row (850 new cases per 100k population); 
  • Rates in Carlisle, Allerdale and Barrow-in-Furness were above the national average rate (England = 495 new cases per 100k population); 
  • Rates in Carlisle were also above were above the regional average rate (North West = 529 new cases per 100k population); 
  • New cases decreased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts, with the smallest proportional decrease in South Lakeland (-11%) and the biggest proportional decrease in Eden (-39%); 
  • The impact on the county’s 152 care homes and nursing homes remains significant, with 49 homes currently managing outbreaks. 

The full Cumbria COVID-19 situation report can be found at: www.cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread
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New infections drop, but hospitals treating more than ever