Council warns the pandemic isn’t over as cases rise again


Cheshire East Council is warning residents the pandemic isn't over following a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases recently.

Latest figures released on the official UK government website (21st March) show the rate of positive cases in Cheshire East has risen to 843 per 100,000 population. The rate per 100,000 population in the North West is 642 and 780 in England.

The current estimate for the 'R number' in the North West is 1.1 – 1.4 (19th March 2022). This means that, on average, 10 infected people will transmit the infection to 11 to 14 other people.

81.3 per cent of all positive Covid-19 cases are of the new BA.2 Omicron variant, which is shown to be far more transmissible.

Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: "The rise in positive Covid-19 cases recently not only in Cheshire East but in neighbouring areas, is worrying, although not wholly surprising since restrictions have ended in England.

"Looking at the recent surge in cases across the borough in all age groups, it is clear the pandemic is far from over.

"Sadly, we are also seeing an increase in hospitalisations for people with Covid-19, which is creating additional pressures, especially in our local hospitals.

"Residents should continue to follow the latest Covid-19 safety advice including self-isolating if you develop covid symptoms or test positive, washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and unless exempt, wearing a face mask in busy, crowded indoor places, especially in healthcare settings."

Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "Positive Covid-19 cases were falling right up until the beginning of this month.

"Over the period 15 to 21 March we have seen a 46.7 per cent rise in cases – that's an increase of 1,145 residents testing positive in Cheshire East over the past seven days.

"I am also concerned about government funding not being renewed for the Covid Zoe project run by King's College London, as well as a reduction of £440m for test & trace programmes and public health teams which have been working so effectively on infection control. These cuts do not appear to have come at a good time.

"We look after each other by staying safe and it really is in our hands to do all we can to reduce this latest rise of Covid-19 cases."

For all the latest information on Covid-19 testing, vaccinations, support, and guidance, please go to the council's webpages at:



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Andy Brown
Tuesday 22nd March 2022 at 1:07 pm
It's far less deadly than the flu now. So rising case numbers are irrelevant.
David Hughes
Tuesday 22nd March 2022 at 2:09 pm
Rising case numbers are, sadly, extremely relevant. Higher cases mean higher hospitalisations, which impact hospitals' ability to deliver the care and treatment they would otherwise provide.
Stephen Justice
Tuesday 22nd March 2022 at 3:13 pm
Omicron has indeed been reported as being less deadly than flu.

This is good news for individuals and understandably influences individual perception of risk and attitude towards seemingly unnecessary precautions.

But it is still a very widespread virus, with relatively high hospitalisations - a recent figure of 14,000 Covid patients in hospital (irrelevant whether or not they have other conditions) exceeds hospitalised flu patients (also irrelevant if they have other conditions).

This is not good news for all those who require hospital treatment for a vast range of other conditions. No amount of bluster about "my strong immune system and my low risk of dying from Covid" will help someone who cannot receive prompt hospital attention for say a crushed leg...

Then because there are so many Covid patients in hospitals, the chances of picking it up whilst in poor health from another condition are significant. Sadly many die in hospital not from their primary condition, but other bugs acquired whilst their once proudly boasted immune systems are compromised.
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 23rd March 2022 at 11:35 am
My wife is in hospital for a routine orthopedic procedure. She tested positive on Sunday (they are swabbing twice a day which she hates) she is in a side ward with 2 other women (also in for different procedures) they too are positive and ALL have no symptoms. They have been situated together as all have Covid . My wife was told that each day they test positive these are added to the daily Covid figures also one Nurse said that they are blurring the cases of those who are in hospital WITH Covid and because of Covid. I look at ICU figures as they are most relevant . UK has 299 in ICU as opposed to France which is 1249. France has strict vax mandates , vax passes and declared for a while that masks were to be worn outside (ridiculous). Their cases are exploding. Germany mandated N95 masks only at one stage (their cases are exploding). Scotland (under the dreadful Sturgeon) has a strict mask mandate and vax passes shown in certain circumstances...their cases are much higher than England's. Get vaxed , take care if you are immune compromised. Whilst I am happy to wear a mask out of consideration for staff and patients whilst visiting in hospital. I will not mask in a virtually empty store or Garden Centre and my Grandchildren will not tolerate another lockdown. Sam Corcoran is a Corbynista and of the Hard Left which embraces a Zero Covid plan. I will take the advice of my GP who says go carefully, that this spike WILL decline but qe must now "learn to luve with the virus".
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 23rd March 2022 at 1:32 pm
Typos apologies (typing in strong sun). Other half is now home and we are enjoying the glorious Alderley Sunshine on our patio.Get out, get fresh air and enhance your vitD
John Clegg
Thursday 24th March 2022 at 4:40 am
Tony, learning to live with the virus doesn't mean telling everyone that it's not as lethal as the flu & that you won't wear a mask in some settings or tolerate any lockdowns.

Learning to live with it means all of us wearing a mask and maintaining distances in most crowded indoor settings while still observing good hygiene, especially during spikes.

It's about everyone doing their bit as fully as possible, not people picking & choosing what they will & won't do - i.e. follow the actual science and not the wishes & Incompetent leadership of a supposed fweedom-loving govt.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 24th March 2022 at 8:29 am
John Clegg where have I stated that it is not as lethal as flu? I listen to my amazing GP in Wilmslow who confirmed that is was very sad that some people were disinfecting every item of shopping and post (and now developing OCD as a result) when we NOW know that thie virus is airborne. And the damage done to children by long lockdowns will be irreversible. Even our Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stated as much. He also stated very recently that this virus will be here forever...some people who are very misguided (or just plain sociopathic) want Lockdown reinstated.
Zero Covid policies have not worked in Australia, New Zealand or China. They are repressive and damaging to our societies and some advice is just plain daft. FEMA in the United States had published guidance during the pandemic and advised people that in the event of a Nuclear attack and imminent atrack alerts issued that if folk were seeking shelter in public spaces to wear masks and keep their distance to protect themselves against Covid. That is fact look it up. I lived through World War 2 and the Cold War and whilst Covid is still here and we should take measured non hysterical precautions the world is facing much bigger existential threats now.
Alan Brough
Thursday 24th March 2022 at 9:34 am
Hi Tony,

I enjoy your posts - they are like a roller-coaster ride. One moment I'm riding high in accord with you and the next plummeting into screaming disagreement.

Our son lives in New Zealand and we haven't been able to see him in well over two years due to their stringent lockdown rules. You say that their policies have failed - I would take strong issue with you. In actual fact, New Zealand have been immensely successful in seeing the threat early on, taking swift and decisive action in completely locking down and protecting their population whilst getting them vaccinated.

Covid is now rife in NZ but it it is unlikely to cause serious illness or death because of the protection afforded by the vax programme.

Success or failure will ultimately be judged by the number of deaths and those suffering serious long term illness, not by the relatively minor inconveniences that we have endured in order to protect ourselves.
Tony Haluradivth
Friday 25th March 2022 at 12:02 am
Hello Alan I hope you are well and enjoying the fine weather and also sincerely hope that you are reunited with your son soon. Yes Lockdown prior to vaccination roll out was a cautious and desirable position. However my post is a snipe at those in our country who desire more Lockdown and tougher repressive restrictions and sadly those folk DO exist. Lockdown may be a minor incovenience to us Pensioners but to the young and those who were pushed out of vital Cancer appointments (in Lockdown1) they were no minor inconvenience and in many cases meant an early death. ONE young person in our immmediate family has never really recovered from the death by suicide of a close University pal whose mental health plumetted as a result of the isolation of Lockdown. The educational skills of children entering Primary School last September had also been noticeably and detrimentally affected. I believe that a useful read has been an opinion piece in this week's Guardian by Devi Sridhar (a former Zero Covid advocate) who has penned pragmatic and sensible medical advice and cautions against the careless "let rip" advocates (I assure you this is not my stance) and the intolerance and intransigenceof Zero Covidians.
Jon Williams
Friday 25th March 2022 at 1:57 pm
Covid cases have climbed by a million in a week in the UK, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals.

Swab tests suggest about one in every 16 people is infected, as the contagious Omicron variant BA.2 continues to spread.

That's just under 4.3 million people, up from 3.3 million the week before.

The figures for the week ending 19 March, are thought to give the most accurate reflection of what's happening with the virus in the community.