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“We expect that the county will be assigned the ‘medium’ risk level,” says Director of Public Health Devon

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In reaction to the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons this afternoon (12 October 2020) about risk levels;

Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, said:

“We must await the full details of the Prime Minister’s announcement and confirmation following the Parliamentary debate tomorrow to assess its impact on Devon, however we expect that the County will, like most of the country, be assigned the ‘medium’ risk level.

“The number of cases across the county have risen in line with the national increase, but case numbers in seven out of our eight District areas still remain lower than the national average.  That is important to stress to Devon residents.

“In Exeter however, like so many University cities, we have seen numbers rising significantly, centred mostly around the university’s student population.   More than 80 per cent of all cases in Exeter are linked to the University.  Those infections have in the main been within and between households and residences, not in educational settings.

“Last week the University introduced additional measures, on top of their already comprehensive strategy to stop infection, that include extending the restriction of movement between their student households, and enhanced cleaning regimes on campus and within their student accommodation.

“Non-university student cases in the city are lower than the national average, so there is no evidence yet of significant spread of the virus between student and non-student populations in the city.

“The overall number of patients with COVID-19 in Devon’s hospitals remains relatively low and we are well prepared as we begin to head into winter.

“I ask everyone to all continue to work together to stop the spread.  Follow the guidance by keeping social distanced, wash your hands regularly and wear face coverings where required.”