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Your reaction to West Suffolk on the regional coronavirus watchlist

PUBLISHED: 15:44 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:53 09 October 2020

We spoke to people in Bury St Edmunds about the district being placed on the regional coronavirus watchlist Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

We spoke to people in Bury St Edmunds about the district being placed on the regional coronavirus watchlist Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Is West Suffolk being placed on the regional Covid-19 watchlist a cause of concern for members of the public?

Jean and Rod Hargreaves are not currently worried by the number of coronavirus cases in West Suffolk Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIJean and Rod Hargreaves are not currently worried by the number of coronavirus cases in West Suffolk Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

We spoke to people in Bury St Edmunds to hear their views on the news that Public Health England has placed the district on the list.

MORE: East and West Suffolk put on Covid-19 watchlist as cases continue to rise

It comes after West Suffolk saw 43 coronavirus cases in the last seven days, or 33 per 100,000 people.

East Suffolk has also been placed on the Covid watchlist, with 46 people testing positive for Covid-19 in the last week, or 30.9 cases per 100,000 people.

However, they remain off the national watchlist.

Julie Guiavarch, who has moved to Bury from France, believes the increase in cases is down to more people being tested Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIJulie Guiavarch, who has moved to Bury from France, believes the increase in cases is down to more people being tested Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

Jean and Rod Hargreaves, from Bury, shared their views. Mrs Hargreaves said: “I am surprised. I’m not really worried about it, as long as you take some precautions.”

With the number of coronavirus cases still amongst the lowest in the country, Mr Hargreaves said “certainly at the moment I cannot see any reason for harsher restrictions.”

He added: “You have to think about the economic cost.”

But Julie Guiavarch, 21, who teaches French at a school in Bury and lives in the town, said she wasn’t surprised at the news.

Jon Beddus was surprised West Suffolk was included on the regional watchlist Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIJon Beddus was surprised West Suffolk was included on the regional watchlist Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

“I’m not too worried about it,” she said. “We have more cases, but we have more people getting tested. It depends if it’s more cases that are serious or not serious.”

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She said she had been taking care from the beginning not to catch the virus or pass it on and would continue to do so.

“I will just keep cleaning my hands, applying hand gel. I live with older people so I know they are at risk.”

Katherine Soper is hopeful we won't get to the stage of a local lockdown in West Suffolk Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIKatherine Soper is hopeful we won't get to the stage of a local lockdown in West Suffolk Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

MORE: Coronavirus spike is a ‘cause for concern and action’ warn health chiefs

Jon Beddus, 67, from Sheffield, was in Bury visiting his daughter and granddaughter.

He said: “I’m surprised West Suffolk has been included. That [43 cases in the last seven days] seems low to me.”

His daughter Katherine Soper, 35, said she hadn’t realised West Suffolk had been placed on the watchlist, but was aware the numbers had been rising.

“So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise,” she said. “I’m a speech and language therapist so I work in a school in Bury.

“I have gone from working at home during lockdown to working in school. We have PPE, but we are being exposed to different students so it’s just being really careful and following protocol.

“I just hope everyone is going to keep doing the right thing.”

MORE: Explained: How the latest wave of coronavirus infections is spreading across Suffolk

She said following the easing of restrictions after the initial lockdown, you had to remember the pandemic hadn’t gone away, and to pack a mask and hand gel if going out.

She added: “I’m hopeful we won’t get to the stage where we have to go into a local lockdown.”

She said while she had tried her best to go into shops and restaurants when possible, you do start thinking ‘should we still be doing that?’

“Everywhere we have been in Bury has been really good. That’s made me feel reassured,” she added.


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