Rise in household Covid transmissions in Bury St Edmunds estate is ‘red flag’, warns mayor
PUBLISHED: 16:59 28 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:11 29 October 2020
CHARLOTTE BOND/ PHIL MORLEY
Community leaders are urging residents of Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds to “not get complacent” following a large rise in coronavirus cases which are being transmitted via households.
Moreton Hall, which has a population of nearly 8,000 people, has been issued with a coronavirus alert from West Suffolk Council following a recent spike in positive tests.
Government data shows that 32 new cases were recorded on the estate over the seven days up to October 22 - the most of any area in Suffolk.
MORE: Warning over spike in coronavirus cases in Bury St Edmunds estate
Peter Thompson, the mayor of Bury St Edmunds and a conservative councillor for Moreton Hall, said the Covid alert should remind residents not to be complacent and think of others when going about their day-to-day lives.
“I have seen the mapping and Moreton Hall appears to be a hotspot in Suffolk,” said Mr Thompson.
“The advice has been pretty clear from the NHS on what we should and shouldn’t be doing, and people have been well aware of this for the last few months, so let’s not get complacent now.”
The latest testing information shows a steep increase in the number of people who have tested positive in Moreton Hall, with a rolling seven-day infection rate of 400.3 per 100,000 people.
The council says the rise in transmission is more widespread than the cases which have been confirmed at Abbots Green Academy and Sybil Andrews Academy in recent weeks.
A spokesman said: “There is evidence that a large number of cases in Moreton Hall involve household transmission, especially where people are visiting friends and family.
“Between October 13 to October 27 there have been 42 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Moreton Hall. There was a 50/50 split between males and females, 38% of cases were in people aged under 25 years of age, 40% of cases were in people aged 30-39 and 21% of cases were in people aged 40 and over. So no, it’s not all about the school.”
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It warned residents that they “must act now” to reduce the spread of the disease and to avoid the possibility of further restrictions.
Mr Thompson is urging residents to look at what has happened across the UK and what may happen should they not comply.
“We do not want to be put into Tier 3 as this would be enormously harmful for businesses in our community,” he said.
“This is not about you, it is about looking after each other. We must observe all the basics, washing our hands, wearing face masks and social distancing.
“We all have to do our bit regardless of what demographic we are in and we must be extra vigilant. This is a red flag and we need to take notice.”
Meanwhile, Trevor Beckwith, who is an independent councillor for Moreton Hall, said the spike in cases is a “real concern”.
“The virus is circulating around the estate,” said Mr Beckwith. “Clearly there have been some laws broken and we are going to suffer.”
He said he feels there has been a lot of relaxation of the rules and understands this can be “confusing and conflicting”.
He said: “You can make all the rules and advice you want, but it only works if people obey them.
“We must stick to the rules as the virus is here and it’s not going away yet. Hopefully people will take notice.”
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