Sunderland records 40 coronavirus cases in a fortnight - mainly among young people and teenagers - sparking stark warning to drinkers ahead of Bank Holiday

Sunderland has recorded 40 new coronavirus cases in the last two weeks with more teenagers through to people in their early 20s testing positive that ever before.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 1:24 pm

The figures have led health bosses in the city to issue a stern warning for people not to put others at risk by leaving their home while waiting for test results as the Bank Holiday weekend approaches, particularly people heading out to bars.

It comes after an increase in the number of people testing positive in Sunderland, with 40 cases in the Iast two weeks, particularly younger people, with more people in their late teens and early 20s than before.

Gillian Gibson has spoken out after the city’s Outbreak Control Board, which met for the first time this week, raised concerns about the potential spread of Covid-19 in bars and pubs.

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Drinkers in Sunderland have been urged to be cautious and follow the rules about social distancing and self isolation ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

The director of public health for Sunderland City Council, said: "We know that many people will be planning to spend time in bars and pubs over the Bank Holiday weekend.

"But it’s vitally important that anyone who has Covid symptoms must self isolate immediately for at least 10 days and only leave their home to get tested.

“That means not going to work or school, not going on public transport, not going out to get food or medicine, or to exercise and most certainly not going out to socialise.

“It also means not setting foot outside your home while you’re waiting for your test results.

Gillian Gibson is director of public health with Sunderland City Council.

"We’ve already had at least one case in the city involving someone who went to a pub while awaiting their test results and we don’t want to see any more.”

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Sunderland’s Outbreak Control Board brings together the council, health and education representatives to steer the response to Covid-19 and challenge, monitor and support the Health Protection Board, which works to prevent, identify and contain outbreaks.

Council leader, Councillor Graeme Miller, who chairs the Outbreak Control Board, said: "It’s essential that we get the message out to young people that they have a vital role to play in the city’s battle against Covid-19, and that they must act responsibly particularly when going to bars and pubs where it may be more difficult to socially distance.”