Sunderland's weekly coronavirus rate more than doubles from 1.4 to 4.0 - but no new cases are linked to pub closures
The rate of infection of the coronavirus on Wearside has risen in the last week, following an alert caused by a drinker going to pubs with the virus.
Sunderland health bosses have said that the increase could be down to a rise in the number of people seeking tests as part of routine testing.
The latest seven-day case rate for Sunderland is 4.0 per 100,000 people, with 11 new cases reported, up from 1.4 and four cases in the seven days leading up to Monday, July 27.
The figures are based on the latest available Public Health data, excluding the most recent three days – from Tuesday, August 4, to Thursday, August 6 - as it is incomplete and likely to be revised.
Health bosses have said this increase could be related to an increase in the numbers of people getting tested.
They say the rise in testing could be linked to concerns after a pub-goer who had the virus spent time drinking in pubs in the city, with The Golden Fleece and Cavalier in Silksworth and Ryhope Cricket Club closing last weekend as a result.
However, the public health team at Sunderland City Council has said no positive results have been linked to the bars.
Kath Bailey, public health specialist, said: “We believe the increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in the seven days up to Monday, August 3, may be partly down to more people coming forward for testing swelling the number of cases resulting from routine testing carried out by healthcare providers.
“It is possible that publicity and awareness around a Covid-19 case who visited pubs in the Silksworth and Ryhope area last weekend prompted more young people to come forward for testing over the weekend than would ordinarily be the case.
"When testing capacity goes up, it’s inevitable that more positive cases will be found.”
She added anyone who goes out to socialise should follow social distancing advice, wear face coverings in places where it is required and wash their hands, as well as support the track and trace programme.