The Director of Public Health for Essex, Dr Mike Gogarty, is today expressing concern over a rise in cases of coronavirus in both Epping Forest and Brentwood.
Over the past two weeks confirmed cases of coronavirus in Epping Forest and Brentwood have risen to the highest in Essex.
Brentwood now has a rate of 40 cases per 100,000 and Epping Forest 36.
We are also seeing the percentage of individual tests that come back positive increase in these areas to around 4 per cent.
Dr Mike Gogarty said: “I am very concerned about Epping Forest and Brentwood.
“Cases are continuing to rise across the county, but these two areas in particular now have the highest rate of cases per 100,000 in Essex.
“We can’t attribute these cases to a particular event, area or outbreak which makes me even more concerned. Cases appear to be random across both districts which makes it much more difficult to contain and prevent further spread.
“Even though on the surface some may not think that these numbers are high enough to warrant concern, however, the figures have to be seen in relation to the rate of infection too. If every one of the cases infects a further 1 or 2 people, then this will very quickly escalate.
“To prevent spread and the need for further measures it is important people in these areas take particular action to prevent spread. It is particularly vital that where possible people who can work from home do so and advise their employers why this is so important.
“Where people need to commute especially using public transport it is asked please that you download and use the Covid App. This will allow your identification if you are in contact with a case so you can avoid contact with others who may at high risk.
“Please wear masks where you can, wash hands regularly and especially keep 2 metres apart from others. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible.
“We are now working with the NHS to facilitate extra testing resource in these areas.”
Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr John Spence, said: “We knew that coronavirus cases would rise across the county. However, even with this happening, our cases are at or below the national average and that is where we want to remain.
“Better still, let’s buck the trend and start pushing the numbers down. That will only happen if everyone one of us stick to the core messages- keep your distance, if you can’t, then wear a face mask. Keep washing those hands and self-isolate when asked or if you have symptoms.”