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Council to step up COVID-19 enforcement following “astronomical” rise in new cases

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COVID wardens will be on the streets of Warrington this weekend as Warrington Council moves to tackle an “astronomical” rise in new cases across the town, with over 700 confirmed last week.

The move comes after Council Chief Executive Steven Broomhead and Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, explained during the latest live broadcast the reasoning behind Warrington being placed in a “Tier 2 High Risk” category as opposed to a Tier 3 like nearby Liverpool.
They said there had been important engagement with the Government over the weekend and earlier in the week when Warrington put forward its case not to be in a Tier 3 category, which would have resulted in the closure of the town’s pubs, bars and leisure centres.
Cllr Bowden said it would have had a devastating impact on jobs if we had to close down hospitality and leisure with a Tier 3 lockdown without adequate financial support from the government.
But he warned that the current situation was “moving very fast and fluid” and that at some point the situation may escalate to a Tier 3 if the virus wasn’t brought under control.
“It is more important than ever that people follow the rules and the law. Our case numbers are still very high and are not turning around as yet and the last thing we need is a Liverpool style lockdown. Those who break the rules must face enforcement.
“There will be an increase in enforcement around hospitality to ensure premises are COVID secure. We are looking to provide additional enforcement when required.”
He said the Council would be working in partnership with Cheshire police with a “COVID car” along with “COVID wardens” who would be taking to the streets this weekend.
Director of Public Health Thara Raj said the rise in cases in Warrington had been “astronomical” since the Bank Holiday weekend, with over 700 new cases last week alone.
She stressed the importance of following the rules with social distancing the most effective way to stay safe, along with wearing face coverings and washing hands.
Professor Simon Constable, Chief Executive, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals said the situation was escalating quickly and hospital cases were rapidly approaching the figures seen at the peak of the pandemic last April.
But he said the hospital had a “tried and tested” plan in place if the situation continued to escalate with a current capacity of 26 beds in the ICU, which could increase to 54 if required.
Dr Andrew Davies, Clinical Chief Officer, NHS Warrington CCG, said that while some GP practices had had to lock their front doors to maintain COVID secure environments, they were still open for business, with procedures in place for face to face appointments, if required.
The full broadcast will be available to view later on the councl’s you tube page https://www.youtube.com/user/WarringtonBC/videos

Meanwhile, the latest daily figure of 88 (128) new cases means the number of confirmed cases in Warrington since March is now 3,786 (3,698). The seven day average as of October 7 was 101.3 (103.4).
There have now been 170 (168) COVID-related deaths reported by Public Health England in Warrington, 80.9 per 100,000 population.
Latest figures from Warrington & Halton Hospitals updated Wednesday 14th October 2020 – Tuesday’s figures in brackets.
Covid-19 positive inpatients 80 (75) – Of which 12 (13) are in ICU
Total number of tests (inpatients/community) cumulative – 27,379 (27,027)
Total tests with a positive result (inpatients/community/died/discharged) cumulative 1,644 (1,619)
Discharges of positive patients (excluding deaths) cumulative 495 (486)
Deaths of Covid-19 positive inpatients cumulative 154 (154)

Across the UK the daily number of COVID-19 associated UK deaths was 137 (143), taking the total number of deaths to 43,155 (43,018).
The daily number of lab-confirmed UK cases was 19,724 (17,234), taking the total number to 654,644 (634,920).
Across the country, there are 4,650 (4,367) patients currently in hospital and 516 (507) patients in ventilator beds.
To find out more about COVID-19 testing, and to book a test if you have symptoms, visit warrington.gov.uk/get-tested-coronavirus
For the latest COVID-19 guidance for Warrington visit https://www.warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus-latest-guidance

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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