Latest official data released today shows the highest weekly number of COVID-19 deaths the county has yet seen.
The tragic news comes as infection rates in the community continue to drop, but hospitals remain under intense pressure and new admissions continue to increase in the south of the county.
Colin Cox, Director of Public Health said: “Our biggest risk now is that we start to think this is all over; infections are falling, and we have the vaccination programme rolling out. These things are both true and good news. But we cannot let our guard down or we will once again see infections rocket.
“85 local people died from COVID-19 in week ending 15 January, our highest ever number. That is a tragedy and reflects the extremely high infection rate we’ve seen over the past six weeks. We really must not let ourselves slip back to that place. Please keep doing what you’re doing, stick to the lockdown rules and we can get infections down to a manageable level.”
There were 1,913 new cases in Cumbria (a decrease of 724, -27%, from 2,637 cases in the previous week).
For the 6th week in a row Carlisle had the greatest number of new cases (+591 new cases).
Carlisle also had the highest rate of new cases for the 4th week in a row (544 new cases per 100k population).
Rates in Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness were above the national and regional average rates (England = 385 and North West = 410 new cases per 100k population).
New cases decreased from the previous week in all Cumbrian districts, with the smallest proportional decrease in Barrow-in-Furness (-16%) and the biggest proportional decrease in Carlisle (-36%).
For the 3rd week in a row the 45-54 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria, this was followed by the 25-34, 35-44 and 55-64 age groups.
There were decreases in new cases in all age groups in Cumbria from the previous week, except the 85+ age group.
The number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status in North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) decreased from the previous week (-28%).
However, the number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status in University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) increased from the previous week (+113%).
The average number of patients with COVID-19 in beds in NCIC decreased from the previous week (-3%).
The average number of patients with COVID-19 in beds in UHMB increased from the previous week (+16%).
There are still a number of incidents/positive cases across all education settings, however, numbers have fallen slightly compared to the previous week.
There are still a number of outbreaks in care homes and Supported Living settings.