New infection rates in Essex as restrictions ease

By Anca Miron

Essex’s public health chief Mike Gogarty suggests that the vaccine rollout must continue in Essex as a new wave of cases is likely to be seen due to an ease in lockdown restrictions. 

From 29 Marchthe rule of six is introduced once again, where groups of up to six people or two households can mingle outside in England. Outdoor sports activities will also resume, including golf courses, tennis and basketball courts. 

But the PM urges that this is just the first stage in “getting back to normal” and that travel is not yet allowed as new variants of the virus threaten UK’s vaccination effort. 

In Tendring, the highest infection rates are seen in secondary school children with 500 cases per 100,000 people. The trend shifted dramatically from people in their late 60s to the younger generation. The latest figures show that the percentage of elderly people is down by less than ten per 100,000 people. 

Dr Mike Gogarty said: “The important thing is that rates are dropping in that older group- that’s the group we want to protect and hopefully don’t end up in hospital.” 

A rise in cases is also explained by the Kent variant, which emerged in early January. Studies show that the UK variant is 70 per cent more contagious than existing variants.  

However, a large percentage of the elderly population have received their first Covid jab and are out of any infection risks at the moment. 

Dr Mike Gogarty said: I suspect we will continue to have high rates, but the vulnerable will be OK.” 

More than 50 per cent of the UK’s population have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, out of which 95 per cent of people aged 60 and over. 

The Essex’s public health chief suggests that once vaccinatedthe disease rates will be much lower. 

The County Hall is rethinking the local scheme in order to increase the financial support provided to the vulnerable.