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Sheffield Added to Government’s ‘Areas of Concern’ Watchlist: Director of Public Health Responds

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sheffield City Council

The Government’s Department of Health and Social Care has designated Sheffield as an ‘Area of Concern’ following a recent rise in Coronavirus infections.

Sheffield Designated Coronavirus ‘Area of Concern’

The Department of Health and Social Care have added Sheffield to its ‘Areas of Concern’ watchlist following rises in COVID-19 infection rates.

The list is compiled each week and highlights locations the government is concerned about, based on coronavirus infection rates and other local information.

Categories the government department uses include ‘Area of Concern’, ‘Areas of Enhanced Support’ and ‘Areas of intervention’. Sheffield has been added to the lowest of those categories, but it does indicate a rise in infection rates in the area.

Should the infection rate continue to increase, Sheffield may be escalated to more stringent enforced intervention measures, such as those seen in Birmingham today.

What does being an ‘Area of Concern’ mean for Sheffield?

At this stage the local authority takes action. The Sheffield Coronavirus Prevention and Management Board will now look at where extra support might be needed.

Sheffield’s authorities may increase local testing, place prevention interventions into certain settings and work to improve track and trace measures.

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It is likely that increased testing and other interventions will take place in the areas of the city where infection rates are highest.

The board will refer to the Sheffield Local Outbreak Support Plan.

Sheffield’s Director of Public Health makes statement

Greg Fell, Sheffield’s Director of Public Health tonight issued a statement following the news Sheffield had officially been designated an ‘Area of Concern’:

“We would like to be clear with the public of Sheffield that there are a small number of significant ongoing incidents we are aware of. However, the overall incidence is increasing across the city, and we must pay attention to this as we continue to monitor the situation.

“With our Sheffield Coronavirus Prevention and Management Board we have a plan in place to deal with a wide range of scenarios, including this one. We are all well aware that Sheffield, like everywhere else, is not out of the woods and we all know we need to remain vigilant for some time. We know this picture changes constantly which is why it is essential that residents remain vigilant, stick to social distancing guidelines, continue to wash their hands regularly, get tested, and self-isolate if displaying symptoms and continue to help control the spread of the virus.

“Our key objective is to prevent the spread of the virus. If we don’t follow the safety measures in place to keep people safe, we will go into local lockdown it’s as simple as that. We are seeing a rise in young people aged 18-24 contracting Covid-19, who are at low risk but can still carry the virus. So, we urge everyone to play their part and to stick to the safety measures to help stop the spread. Together we can make a big difference and keep our city safe.”Greg Fell, Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council

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