Hertsmere removed as ‘area of concern’ on COVID-19 watchlist

PUBLISHED: 14:03 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:03 02 October 2020

Numbers rise slightly in Welwyn Hatfield, but fall in Hertsmere. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/wildpixel

Numbers rise slightly in Welwyn Hatfield, but fall in Hertsmere. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/wildpixel

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hertsmere has been removed from the government’s watchlist as an ‘area of concern’ after three weeks, among other regions with higher-than-average coronavirus cases.

Last month, Hertsmere experienced a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and was consequently added to the government’s weekly watchlist, alongside a number of areas across the UK, on September 11.

Government data, released October 2, shows that the infection rate in the district of Hertsmere is 27.83 per 100,000 population over a seven-day period – a fall of more than 22.0 per 100,000 population in the three-week period (September 6-27).

Its watchlist is based on Public Health England’s (PHE’s) weekly surveillance reports monitoring local authority areas with elevated numbers of cases.

It has three categories for local councils – ‘area of concern’, ‘area of enhanced support’ and ‘area of intervention’.

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An ‘area of concern’ is the lowest level requiring targeted local actions to reduce further infection numbers.

Tim Hutchings, cabinet member for public health and prevention at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “It is pleasing and encouraging that the situation in Hertsmere has improved, and we thank residents there and across the whole of Hertfordshire for carefully following the government guidelines, particularly on face coverings, social distancing, gatherings and if there is a need to self isolate.

“However, we need everyone to continue to play their part to control the spread of the virus. That is the only way we will prevent the need for more stringent interventions which may be required if a rise in local numbers of COVID-19 cases occurs again.”

Morris Bright, leader of Hertsmere Borough Council and county councillor, said: “This is really good news for our residents and businesses, and I cannot thank everyone enough for their efforts to stay safe and contain the virus. Hertsmere is one of only two local authority areas in the UK to be taken off the list after just a few weeks.

“However, we cannot be complacent. Only by doing your bit and working together in this way can we keep infections in our borough to a minimum.”

For the latest advice and guidance on COVID-19, visit Hertfordshire County Council’s website at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus.


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