People urged to steer clear of Sunderland's seafront as Seaburn's Covid figures cause concern
Daytrippers have been asked to keep away from Sunderland’s seafront unless they live locally as Seaburn’s community records among the highest levels of coronavirus in the city.
The community has seen a drop in the number of case numbers in the latest figures, but had seen more than double the rate of its nearest neighbour in the week before.
In the seven days up to Thursday, January 14, it stood at 357.9 per 100,000 people, which rose in the week after to a staggering 1,014.0 per 100,000 people.
The latest figures shared by NHS England, which detail cases in the lead up to January 26, show that had fallen to 417.5, but still above the 312.6 city-wide rate.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring area Fulwell, those figures stood at 416.7 for the week up to January 14, and fell to 181.2 the week after before rising to 289.9 in the most up to date period.
Conservative Councillor James Doyle, whose Fulwell ward covers both areas, has said it was not possible to know why Seaburn in particular saw such a sharp rise in cases and was not aware of any mobile testing unit supported by Sunderland City Council visiting the area.
The council has been asked for a response about the reasons why there could have been such a high increase and if any targeted action was planned, but is yet to respond.
Coun Doyle said: “The number of cases recorded in Seaburn recently is incredibly concerning.
"Whilst it is difficult to identify the exact cause of this latest spike, it seems unlikely to me that the large number of visitors making trips to the sea front is not at least a contributing factor.
“As a community we have worked hard to adhere to rules on social distancing and household mixing, and it is still vitally important that we continue to do so.
“I am confident the police and Sunderland City Council’s enforcement team are doing all they can to ensure compliance with the rules in Seaburn by carrying out regular patrols and responding quickly to reports from members of the public.
“My message to anyone thinking about taking exercise on the sea front is clear: stay local and stick to the rules.”