A year after coronavirus started to spread in Sunderland, council's public health boss warns people need to stick to rules
Sticking to the rules is vital if Sunderland is to escape the grip of coronavirus a year after the city’s first case.
That’s the message from Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning Gerry Taylor 12 months after the first case was confirmed in the city.
The case numbers in the city have remained stubbornly high throughout the last year, despite local and national lockdowns and moving from the Government’s tier two to four.
“This last year has been an unprecedented one for our city, one which has seen a significant toll on our residents, our businesses and our economy,” said Ms Taylor.
"In common with other areas of the country, Sunderland’s figures have fluctuated considerably during the pandemic. We saw a high volume of cases during the peak of the first wave last Spring, followed by a levelling off over the summer, then a rise in case numbers last September.
“Rates came down during the second lockdown, but began to rise again after this came to an end in early December. We saw our highest ever recorded cases on December 30, when 295 cases were recorded in a single day.
The emergence of a new variant had aggravated the situation, she added: “While not the only factor, the new variant of the virus which first emerged in Kent undoubtedly played a part in the high case numbers we saw between late December and the middle of February because it’s so much easier to pass on to others.
"Thanks to the efforts of everyone in the city, infection rates have now come down to just over 117 cases per 100,000.
"But having seen what happened when we came out of the last lockdown, it’s vital that we all do everything we can to stop Covid from taking hold in our communities again.
"That means continuing to be vigilant and following all of the guidance to stop the virus spreading. I would ask everyone to carry on doing their bit by taking up the vaccine when it is offered to you it is safe and effective, continuing to stay at home and only going out for essential reasons.”