IN SOLIHULL 12 more people have died in the past week from Covid-19.
The news comes as the borough’s director of public health Ruth Tennant urges residents to stick by the lockdown rules, saying services are now at a critical point in the year.
Solihull’s infection rate has tumbled by 22 per cent to 152 per 100,000 with 329 new cases in the week to December 2.
However this compares with an average rate of 125 in England.
Ms Tennant said: “It is clear the lockdown has been the main driver for the fall in cases and that these numbers are likely to rise as more people are out and about.
“Our job now is to keep these figures as low as possible for the next few months until the vaccine programme starts to take effect.
“Our R rate is just below one which gives us very little room for manoeuvre.
“This is a critical point in the year.
“Our hospitals are going into their busiest winter period as well as having to deal with Covid.
“The rates we see today reflect what we were doing two to three weeks ago: so what we do now, will have a direct impact on the number of people who are ill over Christmas.”
Tier 3 is the highest level of Covid restrictions, minimising social contact indoors wherever possible and when out, taking all the necessary precautions.
“If you need to shop do it safely. Observe social distancing, wear face coverings, particularly when indoors in shops or supermarkets and keep washing and sanitising your hands. Please use the rule of thumb ‘should I do it’ not ‘can I do it’,” said Ms Tennant.
“Do not, under any circumstances, go out if you are unwell or self-isolating, and if you get any Covid symptoms self-isolate immediately and get tested.”
She also urged residents to consider the risks to older family members and friends, especially those with underlying health conditions, as preparations are made to celebrate Christmas.
“Together over the past weeks we have driven Covid infections down,” she said.
” Let’s not throw away our hard work by relaxing too much now or over Christmas.
“The vaccines are coming, but until then, we have to keep doing the right thing for Solihull to keep us all safe over the Christmas and New Year period.”