Outbreak of new coronavirus cases identified in Leeds student suburb

A significant outbreak of new coronavirus cases has been identified in a suburb of Leeds.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 5:19 pm

Government data shows that nearly 50 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the Hyde Park Corner and Woodhouse Cliff area of Leeds in just seven days.

The data breaks down the city of Leeds by Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) - a geographic measure of approximately 7,200 people.

Five north west Leeds areas, home to many of the city's students, recorded the most new cases in the city in the seven days to September 20.

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Staff working at a Coronavirus testing centre at Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds (Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)
Staff working at a Coronavirus testing centre at Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds (Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

There were 47 new lab-confirmed cases in the Hyde Park and Woodhouse Cliff MSOA during this period.

Woodhouse and Little London recorded 30 cases, while the University and Little Woodhouse area recorded 23.

There were 22 new cases in Headingley and 21 new cases in Hyde Park.

A walk-through testing site has been set up in the Gryphon Sports Centre, on the University of Leeds campus, in an effort to make it easier for people living in the area to get tested.

Leeds City Council said it is closely monitoring continued outbreaks of the virus across the city and is specifically targeting engagement with young people and young adults.

A council spokesman said: "We are closely monitoring continued outbreaks across the city, taking targeted preventative steps.

"We are also seeing an increase of cases in younger people across the city, reflecting the national picture in the 18-34 age group.

“To address this, we are doing a lot of work with the licensing sector and also with the voluntary sector and communities, specifically targeting engagement with young people and young adults.

“We would encourage everyone to play their part in helping us to prevent further cases and stay on top of community transmission by following national guidance:

· Keep a safe distance from others.

· Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.

· Wear a face covering on public transport and in indoor areas such as shops, places of worship, hairdressers, libraries and healthcare settings.

· Do not leave home if you, or anyone in your household, has symptoms.

· If you have symptoms book a free test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

"If you need to stay at home and have no family or friends for support, ring 0113 378 1877."

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explaining they usually cause “mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses”, like the common cold.

This particular strain originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, the largest city in central China, and is in the same family as SARS and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome).

The first suspected cases of the virus were reported at the end of last year on 31 December 2019 in Wuhan, but it has since been confirmed in other parts of China.

Most people get infected with these viruses at some point during their lives, although they usually only last for a short period of time.

Symptoms of the virus may include:

- runny nose

- headache

- cough

- sore throat

- fever

- loss of smell and taste

- a general feeling of being unwell

Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, or more severe diseases such as SARS. However, this is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants and older adults.