No recent Covid-19 cases in Devon ‘linked to tourists’, says public health boss

None of the low levels of coronavirus cases recently confirmed in Devon are believed to be linked to tourists, according to the county’s public health director.

Dr Virginia Pearson said she and colleagues were ‘all over the data’ and, at present, there was no area of concern or setting for which escalation measures are required, writes Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark.

Data presented to the Team Devon Local Engagement Board meeting today (Wednesday, July 29) showed that, in the week ending July 26, a dozen new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the county.

Three of the total were in East Devon, five in Exeter, two in Mid Devon, two in North Devon, one in the South Hams, and five in Torbay.

There were no cases in Teignbridge, Torridge or West Devon.

Dr Pearson said: “We have a very low rate of cases, very low positivity rates, and they are scattered cases, but if this changes, we will report it and let you know.”

The meeting heard that the relaxation of lockdown measures on July 4 – and the subsequent increase in visitor numbers – had not had any real impact on the number of cases in Devon.

Dr Pearson said that, as far as can be established, none of those confirmed in the last few weeks are related to tourists coming into the area.

She added: “It is vital that we continue to work together to encourage compliance and focus on prevention as we are dealing with something that will be here for a while.”

Devon County Council leader John Hart added: “This remains a good news message. Devon is safe and will remain safe as long as we look after and make it safe. Be careful and do what you are asked to do, and we will keep it under control.”

Dr Pearson has also issued a warning to parents and guardians of babies aged under 12 months to not cover their mouths with face-masks as it could cause breathing difficulties.

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