Sunderland coronavirus case rate drops to lowest level since August - but health boss issues 'reality check' warning
Wearsiders have been urged not to drop their guard after Sunderland’s COVID-19 case rate fell to its lowest level since August.
As of the week beginning Monday, April 19, Sunderland's case rate was 15.1 per 100,000 down from 573 in the first week of January, when the latest lockdown started, and in line with a level not seen since August 30.
The regional figure for this week is 22.4 per 100,000.
Sunderland's Executive Director of Public Health & Integrated Commissioning Gerry Taylor thanked people for keeping to the lockdown and taking up their vaccine opportunities - but urged them not to drop their guard.
"Thanks to the ongoing efforts of everyone in our community, Sunderland's Covid infections are the lowest we have seen for a long time,” she said.
"But even brilliant news does come with a reality check. Covid is still circulating in our community. Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas.
"This is especially true as our spaces and places begin to open up. I know businesses are doing everything they can to keep their customers safe and I thank them so much for that. But as we begin to socialise once again, we are giving Covid the chance to surge if we don’t stick with the guidelines.
"When you’re out and about please remember the hands, face, space advice. It’s still one of the most effective things you can do to minimise your risk of transmitting – or contracting - the virus.
"Plan ahead for your trips out and if the places you are visiting are overcrowded, consider going back another time."Vaccinations are now available to people aged 45-49 and anyone eligible who has not yet been vaccinated should contact their GP and arrange an appointment as soon as possible.
"If you have already been offered the vaccine but were initially unsure, it’s not too late to change your mind,” said Gerry.
"Contact your GP and they will arrange for you to be vaccinated. And don’t forget to take up your second dose."Thank you for all you are doing. The picture is looking bright for Sunderland and will be able to stay this way if we continue our efforts."