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Deputy Director confirms Exeter case numbers are back to ‘broadly’ the national average

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Steve Brown, the Deputy Director for Public Health Devon has today confirmed that Exeter case numbers are now back to ‘broadly’ the national average.

It’s the first time in weeks that case numbers in the city have fallen to the current level following a spike mostly associated with University of Exeter.

Cases among the university student population have come down, thanks largely to measures introduced by the university, including restrictions to prevent student households mixing, as well as the compliance of students to adhere to the tighter rules.

However case numbers across the county now are rising in line with the national trend, but they remain below the English average overall.

Steve Brown, the Deputy Director for Public Health Devon described an emerging picture in Devon:

“When we look at those people who are testing positive for COVID we are seeing an increase in the age profile. So we’re seeing now working age and older adults who are testing positive for COVID-19.

“Again (that’s) similar to what we see across the country.”

He described the reduction in cases in Exeter as great news and testament to all the work that the university and colleagues have done.

“While the numbers are low in Devon at the moment, it’s really important that we do all we can to maintain that,” he said.

“We want to make sure that we stay in the medium tier, so it’s really important that everyone adheres to those key guidance and messages:

“Keep your social distance – ideally to a minimum of two metres

“Make sure that you wash your hands properly and regularly

“And wear face coverings where required and appropriate.”

Appealing to those who are currently self-isolating, Mr Brown said:

“As cases increase, more and more people will be asked to self-isolate, either as a consequence of being tested positive or indeed identified as a close contact.

“It’s absolutely vital that if you are asked to self isolate, or instructed to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace, that you do so.

“This is absolutely important to ensure that we do all that we can to reduce onward transmission.”

Listen to his report.