Michael Fabricant says “Many residents understandably wonder why Lichfield District will be put in Tier 3 when England leaves lockdown on December 3rd.
“When we all entered the national lockdown, Lichfield District was in Tier 2. However, the Covid infection rates were already high in Lichfield District, 350 per 100,000, and rapidly rising. It is important to understand there is a 3 week time lag between action being taken and infection rates changing. During the current lockdown, infection rates in Lichfield District soared to 430 per 100,000.
“To put that in context, anything over 100 to 140 infections per 100,000 causes alarm bells to ring.
“However, in the last few days, infection rates have started to fall swiftly in Lichfield City and Burntwood and in most of Lichfield District. Still high, as of 4 days ago though, the infection rate in Lichfield District has fallen to 230. Lockdown has worked.
“But unfortunately, the rates are far higher in Stafford, South Staffordshire, East Staffordshire and to the south. As a consequence, our hospitals are approaching capacity due to the demand and clinical staff being off sick. Moreover, the belief is that if Lichfield District had been on Tier 2, people from more infected areas including Sutton Coldfield and the rest of Birmingham would have come to Lichfield to enjoy our vibrant nightlife and consequently spread infection into the District.
“In other parts of Europe and the United States, hospital services have become overwhelmed preventing patients having access to urgent hospital treatment. This cannot be allowed to happen here.
“During the Christmas respite, the infection rate may spike again, but I am hoping that by the end of January or before, Lichfield will be able to leave Tier 3 and, as the vaccination programme gathers momentum, we will begin to return to near normal life in the spring.”