Rise of Covid-19 cases in North Devon is ‘concerning’

A social distancing reminder in Barnstaple. Picture: Matt Smart

A social distancing reminder in Barnstaple. Picture: Matt Smart - Credit: Matt Smart

Residents in North Devon are being urged to stick to coronavirus guidance following an increase in cases across the district.

There have been 156 cases of the virus in North Devon in the seven days up to November 14, with the number of cases up 43 per cent on the week before.

The seven-day period has seen 69 confirmed cases in Barnstaple, including Roundswell and Landkey, and 38 in Braunton.

Bratton Fleming, Goodleigh and Kings Heanton (18) has also seen an increase in cases.

North Devon Council leader, Councillor David Worden, said the latest figures for the district were ‘concerning’.

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He added: “After having very low levels up until now, we’re worried that people think that they are somehow safer here than in other parts of the country but that is clearly not the case. People need to be as vigilant as ever to prevent further spread and save lives.”

It is believed the virus is spreading in workplace communal areas. Whilst workplaces themselves may be Covid-safe, people are transmitting the virus to each other in places such as canteens, corridors, smoking areas, car parks and other shared spaces.

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Devon Director of Public Health (designate) Steve Brown says: “The cases in the north of the county have thankfully been very low throughout this outbreak. But now we can see the numbers starting to rise in line with the rest of Devon and reflecting the national situation.

“Whilst the numbers still remain relatively low, this is a cause for concern and it shows that nowhere is really safe or immune from this virus.

“I would urge all local residents to act now and do all they can in order to keep safe and prevent the number of cases rising further and putting more pressure on local health services.

“That means keeping your guard up at all times and making sure you follow the basics - hands, face and space – avoid social contact with other households and respect national lockdown guidance.”

Information on local clusters shows there have been six cases in Woolacombe, Georgeham and Croyde, six cases in Ilfracombe East and four in Lynton and Combe Martin.

There have been four cases in Fremington and Instow. South Molton has five cases, and the Bishop’s Nymtpon, Witheridge and Chulmleigh area has four.

There have been 67 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Torridge in the seven days up to November 14, with 15 of those in Bideford.

Appledore and Northam North has seen nine recorded cases, and there have been three in Westward Ho! and Northam South.

There have been six cases in Hartland Coast, 15 in Holsworthy, Bradworthy and Welcombe, five in Great Torrington, and eight in Shebbear, Cookworthy and Broadheath, and six in Winkleigh and High Bickington.

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