Essex lockdown: County demands further restrictions as coronavirus infections spike | UK | News (Reports)

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The county is requesting tighter restrictions. Doctor Mike Gogarty, director of public health and wellbeing at Essex County Council has called for action to stop a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the county. Doctor Gogarty said: “Across the county, we have moved from gradual to exponential growth with the number of cases rising exponentially.”

Leader of Essex’s Conservative-controlled council, David Finch, said: “By acting now, we can hope to stem this increase.

“We can hope to start limiting the time that we are in these enhanced restrictions and, above all, avoiding further escalation into Very High.

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“All of this will limit the damage to the economy.

“A healthy economy is critical to everyone having better lives in future.

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“We already have one of the best track and trace operations in the country.

“However, we will also be aiming to push its performance still higher alongside strengthening enforcement capacity and visibility.

“Making these painful decisions now will, we hope, bring dividends later.”

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The number of infections in Essex soared from just over 700 in the week to 2 October to just over 1,000 in the week to 9 October.

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No other counties in England have made such a request.

Leader of adjacent Thurrock council, Rob Gledhill, said he was dismayed at the request made by Essex County Council.

He said the move would have negative far-reaching implications.

He said: “I cannot believe that Essex County Council would make this proposal without appearing to fully consider the evidence of the impact of further restrictions it potentially also imposes on the people of Thurrock.

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“The simple facts are the government have announced we are in tier one, medium alert, we have a far lower number of infections than most Essex districts and councils in the country.

“But, fortunately, we have very few of our residents in hospital and even more fortunately we have had no residents die of Covid-19 since the middle of July.”

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