WARRINGTON residents are being urged to ‘redouble efforts’ to prevent the spread of coronavirus following a significant rise in new cases.

The latest figures for the town show 33 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the last seven days.

Warrington Borough Council has said that while cases in the town have been very low over the last couple of months and while rates remain lower than elsewhere in the north west, this increase is a reminder to take the utmost care to help prevent further transmission.

The majority of recently confirmed cases are within the whole community rather than being confined to one local hotspot, and a small number of new cases were identified in care homes through routine, regular testing.

All appropriate prevention measures in affected care homes continue to be in place, and routine whole care home testing is being delivered across Warrington, with staff and residents tested on a frequent basis.

This regular testing in care homes helps to protect the most vulnerable residents by identifying asymptomatic (where people show no symptoms) and pre-symptomatic (before symptoms are displayed) cases so that control measures can be put in place immediately.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health, said: “For the past few months, Warrington has had one of the lowest infection rates in the north west.

“This has required a huge, dedicated effort from our communities – particularly considering that we border with areas of Greater Manchester which have seen localised lockdown restrictions applied in recent weeks.

“We have always known, however, that we are not immune to the virus in Warrington.

“The virus does not respect geographical boundaries - there is always the risk that transmission will increase and the number of cases will rise.

“Now more than ever, we cannot afford to be complacent and we must redouble our efforts to stop the virus from spreading.

“Despite the warm weather, we still need to remain disciplined.

“Please make sure if you are heading out, meeting up with friends or going into busy public spaces, you maintain social distancing and wear a face covering where appropriate.

“For young people in particular during the summer holidays, I know there will be a real temptation for some to socialise in larger groups than is allowed, and to not follow social distancing.

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“Please – stick to the guidance, not just to protect yourself from getting seriously ill with the virus, but to protect others you could unknowingly pass the virus to, like grandparents or vulnerable people who could also become very poorly if they contract the virus.

“Preventing a further increase in cases is in our control if we work together.

“We can all play our part to bring case numbers down again, so please continue to observe social distancing, maintain excellent hand hygiene and wear a face covering when you need to, such as going to the shops.

“And, if you have any symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, including a high temperature, a persistent cough or loss of normal taste or smell – or if you just generally feel unwell - book a coronavirus test immediately.”

For more information, visit warrington.gov.uk/TestAndTrace