THE vast majority of new coronavirus cases being recorded in Warrington are attributable to the Delta variant which was first found in India.

The town’s public health leaders have confirmed that the dominant strain is responsible for 92 per cent of all cases in the town.

To prevent it from spreading further, health leaders are urging residents to restrict mixing where possible, especially with the upcoming England European Championships football match on Sunday.

They say that ‘stubborn Covid pockets’ have emerged in certain areas of the town, with cases rising in the borough overall.

In the past seven days up to June 4, there were 116 new confirmed cases, which is increasing daily.

Thara Raj, Warrington's director of public health, said: “There is no denying the effectiveness of the vaccine roll out in Warrington.

“But the Delta Covid-19 variant is spreading rapidly and is the dominant strain in Warrington, with an estimated 92 per cent of our cases being the Delta variant.

Warrington Guardian: The coronavirus testing site in Warrington town centreThe coronavirus testing site in Warrington town centre

“Please play your part to lower our case numbers – making small changes such as meeting people outdoors instead of indoors, particularly now we are experiencing better weather, will help to make a huge difference to transmission in the borough.

“If you are meeting up with friends and family to watch the England v Croatia match this Sunday, please remember to follow the social distancing rules and let’s look forward to a great match.

“Coronavirus is far from over, so we all need to do what we can to help curb this spike in cases.”

So far in Warrington, 54 per cent of eligible people have received both doses of the vaccine and 75 per cent have received their first dose of the vaccine, which is helping to keep hospital admissions low and protect those most vulnerable.

Across the country, there are patterns of hospital admissions in areas where infection rates are much higher than in Warrington, but our case rates are rising.

Fully vaccinated people are less likely to get or spread coronavirus, but it is important to continue to follow the rules.

Socialising outdoors is a good way to protect yourself and those around you, as fresh air can blow away any Covid particles.

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Other practical steps people can take include reducing travel, limiting mixing with other households and keeping a note of who you have had ‘close contact’ with in case contact tracers contact you.

Remembering the basics of ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ is also more important than ever when meeting people from outside your household, especially as people are starting to leave their homes more for work and to socialise.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, added: “The increase in case numbers within the community is becoming increasing concerning.

“Coronavirus is still around, and even though you may only get mild symptoms if you get it, other people can still become seriously ill.

“As always, you should get regular symptom-free tests to ensure you do not have the virus while not displaying any symptoms, and if you start to develop any symptoms, go home and self-isolate immediately and book an NHS (PCR) test as soon as possible.

“If you have been told to self-isolate by the national test and trace service, or by the council’s contact tracers, it is vital that you stay indoors for the full isolation period as you can still be contagious.

“If you need any support when self-isolating, Warrington Voluntary Action’s Good Neighbours scheme is available to help by emailing or calling 01925 246 881.”