Spike in Covid-19 cases in Barrow prompts new “six people, two households” advice from local leaders

New advisory restrictions in Barrow
Measures are being introduced to try and avoid local lockdown rules, as seen else where in the country. Credit: Cumbria County Council

Local leaders in Barrow-in-Furness are taking action after the number of COVID-19 cases have increased rapidly over the past 10 days.

Measures are being introduced to try and avoid local lockdown rules, as seen else where in the country.

There is already a legal limit of 6 on the number of people that can meet in groups indoors or outdoors. 

In addition, in the Barrow Borough Council area people are now being strongly advised that groups of 6 should be limited to people from no more than 2 households at any one time.

The move is to try and reduce social contact and reduce the risk of infection spreading. It is also thought the measures would improve the effectiveness of local track and trace efforts.

Public Health leaders are clear that similar measures could be implemented in other parts of the county if the rate of infection continues to increase in these areas.

Additional measures are also being advised in hospitals, care homes and schools:

  • Visitor restrictions at Furness General Hospital (already in place)

  • Visitor restrictions in care homes (from Monday 21) to minimise risk to vulnerable adults and people living with physical and/ or learning disabilities

  • Restrictions on all non-essential visitors to schools (from Monday 21)

New advice from local leaders to avoid stricter rules Credit: PA

The new measures have been put in place following publication of data from week ending 11 September which showed Barrow had the highest number of new positive cases in Cumbria for the second week running, up from zero cases just a few weeks ago.

The infection rate is now at nearly double the national average, at around 60 per 100,000.

Furness General Hospital has also seen an increase in COVID-19 patients with 15 currently receiving treatment.

Furness General Credit: ITV Border

In tandem with local contact tracing information which shows many of the positive cases are unconnected to one another, this data prompted the new advice.

The new guidance was this morning agreed by local political leaders at a meeting of the Local Area Outbreak Board, following recommendations from the multi-agency Health Protection Board.