Cambridgeshire's Enhanced Area Status extended amid Covid surge in schools

More than 2,000 16-17 year olds have received their Covid-19 vaccination in just five days. 

Cambs Enhanced Area Status is extended for three weeks. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire has been granted an extension of its Enhanced Area Status (ERA) for an extra three weeks. 

The application by the county’s director of public health, Jyoti Atri, comes amid “significant issues with Covid” in schools. 

It has been agreed with the Government that it will be extended from today (December 6) until Christmas Eve. 

The status will mean increased intervention in schools will continue until the end of term.

This includes identification of close and household contacts and daily rapid LFD testing in secondary schools as primary settings at parent/guardian discretion. 

County council bosses say this remains a “vital measure in the area” where 42 per cent of all infections are currently in 0 to 17 age group. 

“We are pleased this extension will allow us to continue measures that have only just got going and need longer. This will support schools where there are significant issues with Covid until the Christmas break, and continue to drive up vaccine uptake,” said Ms Atri. 

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The extra resource has included having a national surge rapid response vaccination team on the ground locally, making direct contact with households in areas of low vaccination up take – which continues to December 20.  

The past five weeks of ERA status has also seen a rapid increase in uptake of vaccination for 12 to 15-year-olds in most areas. 

“This decision means extra protection for local people will continue in the run-up to Christmas and is a clear vindication that the measures brought in locally are working,” said Cllr Richard Howitt, chair of Cambridgeshire’s adults and health committee. 

“We took early and decisive action in Cambridgeshire, in recognition of specific concerns in terms of local cases and it is really important that we do not let down our guard now.  

“These measures continue to be needed to help manage the tremendous pressure on our hospitals and essential services that a peak of infection rates early in the New Year is likely to bring. 

“I would urge everyone to take steps to prevent infection spreading when they are making plans to meet family and friends over the coming weeks, and when they are out and about in crowded areas.” 

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