Coronavirus: Sheffield to get 'enhanced support' as cases rise

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People wearing masks in SheffieldImage source, LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images
Image caption,
Sheffield's latest seven-day infection rate is 105.3 cases per 100,000 people

Sheffield has been made an "area of enhanced support" by Public Health England following a continued rise in coronavirus cases.

Nearby Rotherham has also been added as an "area of concern".

Sheffield's latest seven-day infection rate on 28 September was 105.3 cases per 100,000 people, up from 70.6 the previous week.

For the same period, Rotherham recorded 91.6 cases per 100,000 people, up from 62.5 the week before.

There are no extra restrictions being imposed as a result of the changes at the moment.

But South Yorkshire's mayor, Dan Jarvis, said now was the time for everyone to play their part in reducing the number of cases.

"We'll have a very tough winter ahead of us if we don't act now and slow the spread of coronavirus," he said.

"If case numbers continue to increase, we won't hesitate to call on the government to bring in local lockdown measures."

Previously, Mr Jarvis had called for the government to draft in the military to help with coronavirus testing in the region.

What is an 'area of enhanced support'?

Public Health England publishes a weekly watchlist of local authorities as part of its report on coronavirus infections.

It has three categories:

  • An area of concern is the lowest level, where local officials take targeted actions to reduce infection numbers
  • An area of enhanced support is described as being at medium or high risk of intervention and means having a detailed, nationally agreed plan in place with additional government support
  • An area of intervention is the highest level, where there is a "divergence" between the local measures in place to control the spread of coronavirus and national restrictions across England

A local lockdown could be the next step if area of intervention support fails to stem the infection rate.

Earlier, the University of Sheffield confirmed it had recorded 116 cases since the start of the academic year.

The institution said those affected were following government guidelines and support was available.

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