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Devon data shows a rise

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Devon’s infection rate is still comparatively low, but the number of positive COVID-19 tests have risen this week, in line with the national trend.

We currently have around 61 cases (at the time of writing) across the whole of Devon reported in the latest week’s data, and a little over half of those have been new cases in Exeter.

These are cases linked to the University of Exeter – students among them who have recently arrived for the start of term already having the virus, and who have inadvertently passed it on to their housemates.

The University has been working on plans for a long time in preparation for the new term, and have introduced a really wide and comprehensive programme of changes designed to reduce the risk of infection.

They’ve also bought-in their own extremely rigorous Test and Trace programme for students and staff, so that they are not taking away any of the NHS Test and Trace resources that the rest of us might use.

All of the Exeter cases, and their households, are self-isolating and following public health advice, and there is no evidence at this stage of the virus spreading into the wider community.

We have been working very closely with the University and have been extremely impressed with the measures that they’ve adopted, and in their response to this specific rise in positive cases.  We are also continuing to monitor the data closely so that we can respond immediately to changes as they arise.

It is imperative that everyone of all ages should follow the latest public health advice around social distancing, wearing of face masks, and regular and proper hand washing with soap and water.

If you develop any of the three symptoms – the high temperature, new and continuous cough, and a change to your sense of taste or smell – you must self-isolate immediately and arrange a test.

Everyone in a household in which there is a positive case must also self-isolate (stay at home) for 14 days, but only those who have symptoms must be tested.