Sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Devon due to test and trace ‘technical issues’

Nationally around a third of care homes in England have reported an outbreak of coronavirus. Picture

Nationally around a third of care homes in England have reported an outbreak of coronavirus. Picture: Getty - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A technical issue in the national reporting process of positive cases of coronavirus was identified on Friday (October 2).

It meant that thousands of cases between September 25 and October 2 were not included in the reported daily Covid-19 cases - including those in Devon.

NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England have since resolved the issue, but it has led to a rise in the reported number of cases now across the country.

Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, said: “Devon has seen a sharp rise in the number of reported positive cases, as the national test and trace reporting system works through its widely reported technical issue over the weekend.

“This delay in reporting of the most recent cases has not held up any local interventions.

“We expect to see confirmed cases continue to rise while the national reporting is refreshed.”

Despite the rise, Dr Pearson said Devon still has fewer confirmed cases than most other local authority areas of comparable population and density.

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She added: “However, the latest data does now show a rise in Exeter, still largely within the University of Exeter student population, that requires focused attention.

“We have been working very closely with Public Health England, the University of Exeter and Exeter City Council, and already measures have been taken to reduce the wider spread of infection.

“They include restricting movement between University student households in the city, and increased testing capacity for their students and staff. Analysis to date has shown infection spreading in social settings and in and between student households and accommodation, and we are continuing to work with the University to reduce risk in that context.

“The rise in non-University student cases in Exeter mirrors similar increases across the county, suggesting little evidence so far of spread into city communities.

“We ask every Devon resident of all ages, but especially the late teen to mid-twenties, to make renewed efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“To avoid far tighter restrictions on our movements, we must all play our part.”

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