Wolverhampton at risk of lockdown due to spike in cases in young adults
Wolverhampton is at a "real risk of a local lockdown" due to a sharp spike in coronavirus cases among young adults, health officials have warned.
The number of infections has more than doubled in the city over a seven day period, which has been "mainly driven by a big increase in cases among 18 to 30-year-olds", said the city council's director of public health, John Denley.
There was an average of 27.09 cases per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton in the seven days up to Saturday.
This was up from an average of 12.6 cases per 100,000 residents in the previous seven days up to August 29.
England's average infection rate was 3.6 cases per 100,000 people between August 19 and 25 - meaning Wolverhampton's infection rate was four times higher than the national average two weeks ago.
In the wake of a continued rise in new Covid-19 cases, Wolverhampton citizens have been urged to all "play our part in preventing the spread of coronavirus if we are to keep people safe and if we are to avoid a local lockdown", said Mr Denley.
He continued: "Covid-19 infection rates in Wolverhampton have more than doubled in a week, mainly driven by a big increase in cases among 18 to 30-year-olds.
"We've already seen that year groups at a couple of schools in Wolverhampton have had to self-isolate because of case of Covid-19 within their bubbles.
"We've had to take the difficult decision to put a stop to all non-essential visiting to care homes so that we protect some of our city's most vulnerable residents.
"Meanwhile, as a council we've had to take enforcement action against one business which was failing its customers by not acting in a Covid-secure manner.
"While the vast majority of residents and businesses are continuing to do their bit – practicing social distancing, good handwashing and wearing face coverings where required – others have relaxed far too much. If they don't start taking this seriously right now, they will put Wolverhampton at a very real risk of facing additional lockdown measures.
"It's important to stress that young people are not immune to this awful virus and the experience in other countries is that rising cases among young people brings the virus into the homes of older and more vulnerable adults, with increases in cases among young people often followed several weeks later by rises in hospitalisation and deaths
"We simply cannot afford that to happen here and the steps we all must take to prevent the spread of coronavirus are very clear.
"No one wants another lockdown so now is the time for everyone - and younger people in particular - to ensure they do their bit because coronavirus remains a real and present danger to us all."