Council to delay reopening services due spike in coronavirus cases

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 June 2020

Mike Bell has said North Somerset Council will delay reopening services.

Mike Bell has said North Somerset Council will delay reopening services.

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Council leaders believe lockdown measures are being ‘lifted too fast’ following a spike in coronavirus cases in North Somerset.

Weston Hospital closed to new patients after a surge in coronavirus infections on Bank Holiday Monday.Weston Hospital closed to new patients after a surge in coronavirus infections on Bank Holiday Monday.

The South West has the highest reproduction rate in England and cases in North Somerset have almost double over the past month, reaching 451.

Concerns are such that North Somerset Council advised schools not to reopen this week following an outbreak of the virus at Weston General Hospital, which saw it closed to new patients.

Lockdown is easing in many parts of the country which has seen beaches and public areas becoming increasingly busy, leading to fears of a second spike in tourist areas.

The council’s deputy leader Mike Bell says the authority will not hesitate to ask the Government for extra powers to enforce stricter measures if there is evidence of an outbreak.

Rubbish left on Weston beach which was cleaned-up by volunteers on Friday. Picture: Richard FlewRubbish left on Weston beach which was cleaned-up by volunteers on Friday. Picture: Richard Flew

Cllr Bell said: “I am increasingly concerned Government is getting the balancing act between continuing the downward curve in Covid-19 cases while lifting lockdown restrictions wrong – too many measures are being lifted too fast.”

The council continues to urge people to stay away from Weston to reduce the spread of the virus.

Cllr Bell added: “This is not the right time for more relaxation of the rules, I believe further easing should be delayed until we can be more confident about regional trends in infection rates.

“The council has already advised schools delay reopening due to the Covid-19 outbreak at Weston General and, regardless of Government guidance, we will not be looking to open any more of our services until we can be clearer about the risk of infection in the community.

“When we have the results of cases at the hospital and across North Somerset, we can review if the level of infection is above neighbouring authorities.

“Public Health England is working with us, and if there’s any evidence of raised levels of community spread, we will not hesitate to ask Government to give us the powers needed to help reduce the risks of further infection.”

For more information, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk




















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