The “widespread transmission” of Covid-19 across the Carlisle and Eden areas does not appear to have taken place, authorities say, as the latest figures suggest “good news” following several weeks of a concerning rise in new cases.

A reduction in the number of new Covid-19 cases has been detected by Cumbria’s Health Protection Board, hailed by Cumbria’s public health director Colin Cox as “good news” following several weeks of concern over a rise in the number of new cases, firstly in Carlisle, then in Eden.

The latest weekly report, released yesterday, on the Covid-19 situation in Cumbria showed that 41 new cases of Covid-19 had been identified across Cumbria, down from the previous week’s report, which identified 55 new cases.

Despite a very high number of people being tested following recent outbreaks in Carlisle and Eden, both districts also saw a reduction in the number of new cases.

This is significant given that across the past four weeks, authorities have been warning residents in Carlisle of a “concerning” rise in new Covid-19 cases which was disproportionately high in comparison to the rest of Cumbria.

And last week, this warning was extended to the Eden district.

Public health advice is still stressing caution however, and is still encouraging strict adherence to all recommended social distancing practices.

The number of new positive cases in Carlisle and Eden is still higher than other areas in Cumbria, and the the rate of cases per 100,000 in Eden remains high compared to the rest of Cumbria.

However, the rate of new cases in Eden is not particularly high in comparison to other areas of concern in the north west of England such as Oldham, which has recently seen a raft of new measures introduced in a bid to control the spread of Covid-19. Other districts in the county continue to experience very low levels of new infections.

Cumbria’s Health Protection Board is continuing to closely monitoring the situation and is proactively contact tracing known cases.

In the last week, local contact tracing teams have been involved in 32 incidents, tracing 137 contacts.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health, said: “The numbers of new cases in Carlisle and Eden were a concern. That’s why we are extremely grateful to everyone who followed our advice and got tested.

“What we can now see, from the low number of new cases identified, is that there does not appear to have been widespread transmission of the virus as a result of the visits to local pubs by people who were infectious.

“This is good news but we continue to monitor closely.

“It is also very clear that the virus is still circulating and being passed between local people in the community, so we must not think that the risk has gone away.

“Only by continued vigilance and following the basic public health guidance will we prevent the number of people being infected growing again.

“For anyone heading for a night out this weekend I’d ask you just to do the basics – social distancing as far as possible, wash your hands regularly and make sure you provide contact details to any venues you visit.

“If you are getting a taxi, we would also advise you to wear a mask.”