Coronavirus cases in Sussex town rising at over twice the national average
The number of coronavirus cases in a Sussex town is increasing at more than twice the national average after a sudden uptick in infections.
According to figures from Public Health England, there have been a total of 474 confirmed cases of coronavirus, or covid-19, in Worthing since the outbreak began.
The figure rose from 436 on September 1, reaching 474 by September 8 - a rise of 38, at a rate of 33 cases per 100,000 people.
According to Public Health England, the average rise in England is 16 cases per 100,000 people.
Worryingly, it shows a marked acceleration from the previous week, August 24 to 31, when there were only five new cases reported.
The Government publishes a ‘watch list’ of areas with concerning numbers. The most recent list, published on September 4, does not feature Worthing.
The next is due to be published today (September 11).
West Sussex County Council has insisted it has the outbreak under control.
A spokesman for the council said the recent spike involved ‘people gathered together in the same place, at the same time’ and, through test and trace and self-isolation, it was confident the outbreak has been contained.
The spokesman said: “The number of Covid-19 cases in Worthing has been low until recently. However, in the last two weeks we’ve seen an increase in the number of confirmed cases, which follows the national trend.
“Many of these cases are connected and have been contained through the test and trace system.
“Where there have been incidents, people involved have been responsible and fully cooperated with authorities by providing their contact details and self-isolating for 14 days.
“To ensure we keep West Sussex safe we should all avoid complacency. We should continue to follow guidance on social distancing, regularly wash our hands, wear face masks when appropriate and get tested if we display any symptoms of Covid-19.”
There were concerns an incident at Escape Bar and Grill in Worthing - where some holidaymakers were rumoured to have broken quarantine - was behind the outbreak.
But the bar’s owners insisted the track and trace system showed there had been no positive tests from customers during the time in question. Read more here: Worthing bar forced to close and deep clean after holidaymakers ‘break coronavirus quarantine’To put the increase into context, Leeds was recently added to the watch list after seeing a rise of 62 cases per 100,000 people.
Bolton faces severe restrictions after reporting 131 new cases per 100,000 people. The watch list is based on an assessment of incidence rates, plus trends in testing, healthcare activity and deaths.