End of lockdown marked in Dorset by fall in coronavirus cases and increase in Covid marshals

Good news as Dorset sees a drop of Covid cases according to the most recent weekly data from Public Health Dorset.

As both Dorset Council and the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) areas move from lockdown into Tier 2 restrictions, it’s also been revealed that more Covid marshals are being recruited.

Public Health Dorset said:

“Cases have started to fall quickly as a result of the national restrictions, but we still have work to do.

“We are seeing the highest infection rates amongst the 16-29 year old age group, but cases are still too high in the over 60s – around 130 cases per 100,000 of the population. This is concerning because of the increased severity of COVID-19 in this age group and the potential impact on hospitals and care homes.

“We know that most infections are spread within and between households, which is why limiting social contact continues to be one of the most important tools we have to reduce infection rates.”

Mobile Covid testing facility at Norden

A new mobile Covid testing facility will be at Purbeck Park (previously called the Norden Park and Ride) every Thursday

Public Health Dorset most recent data 15th to 21st November 2020

Confirmed cases in last 7 days

  • Dorset: 263 (compared to 420 last week)
  • BCP: 588 (compared to 947 last week)

7 day case rates per 100,000

  • Dorset: 69.5 (compared to 111.0 last week)
  • BCP: 148.7 (compared to 239.5 last week)

Current COVID-19 patients in hospital beds in Dorset

  • 146 (compared to 137 last week)

The main rules in Tier 2

Dorset Council area, along with the BCP Council area are to move into Tier 2 when lockdown ends on Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

  • You cannot socialise indoors with anyone who isn’t in your household or support bubble – this includes private homes and indoor venues like pubs and restaurants
  • You can socialise in a group of up to six people outdoors while maintaining social distancing
  • Pubs and bars can only operate as restaurants and venues must only serve alcohol with substantial meals

How effective have Covid marshals been so far?

In order to help compliance with the rules, both Dorset Council and BCP Council are employing Covid marshals.

At a media briefing following the government announcement that Dorset was to enter Tier 2 at the end of lockdown, both councils responded to a question about how effective have Covid marshals been so far?

Dorset Council’s Executive Director of Corporate Development, Aidan Dunn said:

“We’ve got four Covid marshals deployed at the moment, in addition to the other enforcement activities like trading standards.

“We are working really, really closely (with Dorset Police) as part of a package of enforcement, and it’s all about trying to encourage residents to do the right thing. Ultimately the police are levying their fines on that side of things.

“We are trying to take the Dorset way of being very supportive of our communities unless they come to step over that line. Marshals are part of that overall package of support.”

Covid Marshal in Dorset

“We will very soon have a further six”

BCP Portfolio holder for Covid Resilience, Public Health and Education, Councillor Nicola Greene added:

“From a Bournemouth perspective, we had seven originally and we will very soon have a further six. In terms of effectiveness, they’ve been very welcome, they’ve done a lot of work around the night time economy over Halloween and those kinds of things.

“We’re getting better, I think, at raising the profile of them and using them to make sure they’re deployed to help businesses.”

Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset

Responding to the news that Dorset is to go into Tier 2 at the end of lockdown, South Dorset MP Richard Drax said:

“How frustrating to find that S Dorset has been placed in tier 2, having gone into lockdown in tier 1. You really could not make it up. And this only a day after the Chancellor revealed our economy was in freefall due to – yes, you’ve guessed it, lockdown!

“At the dreaded Downing Street briefing, the PM said the new tiers in England would “strike a balance” when the national lockdown ends next week. He acknowledged that the stricter three-tiered system of regional measures to tackle coronavirus would bring “heartbreak and frustration”. But, then, he offered a way out. “Your tier is not your destiny,” adding that “every area has the means of escape”.

“Well, thanks, PM, but tell that to the millions of businesses struggling to survive. Like Dorset, most of England will be in the toughest two levels of measures from 2 December. What has this country come to?”

Further information

Read Public Health Dorset’s latest update on COVID-19

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