THERE has been a small rise in the number of positive coronavirus cases in west Cheshire over the past week.

The latest data reveals there has been 19 confirmed cases from July 22 to 28, compared to 15 for July 15-21.

While the number of cases has risen slightly, the trend over July has still been one of gradual decline, and a far cry from its peak of April 27-May 3, when 236 cases were recorded in that week.

Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire police are nevertheless urging residents that, particularly in light of the new lockdowns imposed elsewhere in the North West, the virus has not gone away and people should remain vigilant in observing the guidelines and regulations.

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Louise Gittins said: "We all need to play our part in helping reduce the spread of coronavirus.

"We are seeing a rise in cases in other regions, including the latest in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire, where separate households have been banned from meeting each other indoors.

"We still need to remain vigilant in west Cheshire and help protect each other, our families and our communities, reducing the risk of a local lockdown.

"Please continue to follow government guidelines, maintaining two-metre social distancing, wherever possible and continue to regularly wash hands.

"Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport, in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed spaces with more places being added to this list, such as cinemas and places of worship from August 8.

"We all need to adopt to this new norm of wearing face coverings.

"We are encouraging residents to buy reusable face coverings, wherever possible. This could be a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering. The face covering needs to fit securely around the face and safely cover the nose and mouth.

"Wearing a face covering will protect others and help reduce the transmission of the virus.

"If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you can make this clear when visiting shops or travelling on public transport by printing one of these face mask exemption or severe learning disability information cards and carrying it with you when you leave home.

"You do not need a certificate from your GP to prove you are exempt."

The Government has issued the following scenarios, when the wearing of a face covering is not required:

  • young children under the age of 11
  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • to eat or drink, but only if you need to
  • to take medication
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
  • if speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound

The council has published an Outbreak Management Plan which can be viewed on its website.

Cheshire Constabulary Superintendent Julie Westgate said: “Firstly, I would like to thank residents for everything they have done to help reduce the number of Covid-19 cases in Cheshire.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for everyone and I understand the great sacrifices people have had to make to help achieve this.

“However, as we move forward it is essential that people don’t let their guard down and they continue to follow the guidance which has been put in place by the Government.

“As we have seen in neighbouring areas, the situation can change quickly, so all Cheshire residents need to remain vigilant, act responsibly and do everything they can to stay safe.

“This includes ensuring they adhere to the social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings when out in shops and stores.

“This is particularly relevant ahead of the weekend when lots of people will be out shopping and socialising with friends and family, and it’s easy to forget about some of the restrictions.

“Our officers will continue to patrol key locations and use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable, with officers engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing."

Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane added: “The vast majority of Cheshire residents have followed the government’s advice over the past few months, I hope that this continues.

“Please keep in mind the purpose of the remaining regulations and the national effort and, by following the guidance and working together, we can all help to protect the NHS and save lives.”

  • Protect yourself and your family and friends by getting a coronavirus test if you have symptoms (a high temperature, new, continuous cough, loss or change to your sense of smell or taste). To get tested, please call 119 or visit . Protect your community by then self-isolating for 10 days if you have symptoms or 14 days if alerted to do so by a contact tracer.