Coronavirus Shropshire: Outbreak in Craven Arms caravan park rises to 21 cases

27 July 2020, 10:13

Craven Arms, a market town in Shropshire, is trying to contain the cluster of cases
Craven Arms, a market town in Shropshire, is trying to contain the cluster of cases. Picture: Google

By Ewan Somerville

Health officials in Shropshire are fighting to contain a local coronavirus outbreak after 21 cases were recorded at a caravan site. 

Testing was ramped up after two positive infections were confirmed in the market town of Craven Arms last week, thought to be linked to another outbreak in Welshpool, Wales. 

Residents have been asked to self-isolate with their households for 14 days.

A testing site has opened at a nearby business park, Shropshire Council and Public Health England said, with 41 tested at the caravan park so far. 

Contact tracing is being undertaken, and the number of positive cases is expected to increase before infection control measures and social distancing start to take effect, the council said.

Councillor David Evans said officials were working with the NHS, Public Health England, police and other key agencies to contain the cases. 

"Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of our local residents,” he said. 

"I've been in Craven Arms to talk to residents and businesses to answer any questions and reassure them that the risk to the general public is low."

He added: "I would like to thank members of the community for their own ongoing support and cooperation.

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"We continue to rely on everyone at the site playing their part, and want to encourage the residents to continue to self-isolate and take all the necessary precautions.

"This is the only way we can help stop the spread of the virus."

Earlier this month the Government granted councils powers to enforce local lockdowns, including closing individual premises, if they saw a spike in infections. 

Public Health England has drawn up a watchlist of local authorities where infection rates are highest, updated weekly and ranked on a sliding scale from “area of intervention” - the most serious - through to “area of enhanced support” and “area of concern”. 

Four areas are currently on the “intervention” list: Leicester - which remains in lockdown - Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, Blackburn and Darwen, and Luton.