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The Coronavirus epidemic could potentially still be growing in Cumbria

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Cumbria’s Director of Public Health has responded today to the publication of regional reproduction rates of the Coronavirus, otherwise known as the R number, by Public Health England and Cambridge University. 

Colin Cox said:

“The R number is very significant and something we have to pay close attention too. For the north west, the median R number is marginally above 1, showing the epidemic could potentially still be growing.  This really underlines the importance of people maintaining social distancing and continuing to follow Government guidance as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. We will be monitoring the R number very carefully and a tightening of lockdown restrictions could be possible if the R number increases. This is something we all want to avoid, so we cannot be complacent.”

R represents the average number of onward infections that will be generated by a single infectious individual. R tells us if the epidemic is getting bigger (>1) or smaller (<1), but not how large it is, and therefore should not be used as the sole indicator of the current threat posed by an epidemic.

R number data is not available for Cumbria alone as it would be subject to a very wide confidence interval and therefore not provide a reliable indication of infection spread.

The data published by PHE and Cambridge University reveal:

1) Estimates across England are 17,000 (11,000–25,000, 95% credible interval) new infections arising each day. 

2) Estimates suggest that the number of deaths each day is likely to fall to between 100–250 by mid-June. 

3) It is probable that R is below 1 in all regions of England with the exception of the North West and the South West. 

4) In the South West, although R is around 1, the numbers of new infections occurring in the region on a daily basis is relatively low. 

5) There is some evidence that R has risen in all regions and it is believed that this is probably due to increasing mobility and mixing between households and in public and workplace settings. 

6) An increase in R will lead to a slowdown in the decrease in new infections and deaths. 

7) There is evidence, from the forecast of deaths for the whole of England, that the increases in the regional reproductive numbers may result in the decline in the national death rate being arrested by mid-June. 

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: The Coronavirus epidemic could potentially still be growing in Cumbria
The Coronavirus epidemic could potentially still be growing in Cumbria
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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