Public Health England (PHE) and the Joint Biosecurity Centre has agreed to in an in-depth investigation into Bedford’s high coronavirus infection rate.
Working with Bedford Borough Council’s local heath teams, the joint ‘task-force’ will look at why rates of infection in Bedford have not been falling as quickly as in other areas.
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They’ll also look at what measures can be taken locally to bring the rate down and slow the spread of the virus.
“This is a welcome step that will help partners in health to understand the reasons behind Bedford Borough’s high infection rate,” said Cllr Louise Jackson (Labour), Portfolio holder for Public Health, Health and wellbeing.
“I hope this closer working with Public Health England and the joint biosecurity centre will give us the data we need to tackle this virus.”
Public Health England is responsible for analysing the data from tests so the the virus can be traced.
By looking at more detailed information, they and the Joint Biosecurity Centre will try to identify hotspots where new cases are emerging and appropriate action can be taken.
Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson (Lib Dem), added: “We need the detailed data from the deep dive to be able to take effective action to control the spread of the virus at a local level.”
Officials haven’t said what “appropriate action” may include, but it has already been suggested that micro-lockdowns in parts of the Borough could be put in place.
While certain lockdown elements are being eased, with non-essential shops having opened this week (15 June), social distancing measures are still in place.
- Keep two-metres apart
- Wear a face covering particularly when indoors or on public transport
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water
- Use a hand sanitiser when that’s not available