Health leaders have warned people to take extra care to prevent the spread of coronavirus after a rise in cases in Staffordshire.

Figures for the county have more than doubled over the past week, but still remain below the averages for England and the West Midlands with 25.7 cases per 100,000 people.

Staffordshire County Council said an outbreak in Leek had helped to push the figure ups but said that numbers were on the rise in every district and borough.

Cllr Johnny McMahon, cabinet support member for public health and integrated care, said the ongoing emergence of the Delta variant of the virus – previously known as the Indian variant – was also to blame for the increased figures.

“This recent rise in cases and the emergence of the variant, which is thought to be 40% more transmissible, is a stark warning that we cannot afford to be complacent and let our guard down.

“Cases have been low for several weeks and the vaccine programme rollout has been successful across Staffordshire, so perhaps this along with more freedoms being enjoyed has allowed some complacency to start to creep in.

“We can’t allow that to happen and take a damaging backwards step, especially after all the hard work we have put in to get us to this stage. 

“People need to remain focussed – follow the rules in place, get the jab when offered and get tested twice a week or when asked to do so.”

Cllr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council

Local advice on testing and vaccinations is available on the Staffordshire County Council website.

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