The coronavirus infection rate in Sunderland is now the seventh highest in the UK, after 223 people tested positive for the virus between September 1 and September 7.
The infection rate per 100,000 now stands at 80.3, a nine-fold increase on the previous week.
Gillian Gibson, the city’s director of public health, did not rule out a “national intervention” that would “restrict our movements.”
“Obviously over the last week we’ve seen a really high increase in cases, originally linked to the outbreak at Burnside Working Men’s Club, but since then it has spread further across the city", she said.
“At the moment I’m not expecting that we would go straight into a local lockdown but undoubtedly, given the levels of infection across the city, I would expect that we would end up on some sort of government watch list.”
Sunderland’s infection rate is now lower only than Bolton, Birmingham, Preston, Tameside, Salford and Bradford.