With an infection rate of 109 cases per 100,000 people for the week ending February 26, Worthing now has the highest rate of infection in the South East.
Our town has also passed the tragic milestone of 200 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
The leader of Worthing Borough Council, Dan Humphreys, has urged residents to remain vigilant as we navigate what are hopefully the final few months of restrictions.
“Over the past few weeks, the people of Worthing have made a huge effort and great sacrifices to help lower the rates of infection and for that we are truly very grateful,” said Mr Humphreys.
“The latest news does give cause for concern, but we must remember that we are talking about much lower numbers than a few weeks ago and we believe this is due to a small number of unrelated outbreaks.
“We all need to remain very vigilant and take great care over the next few weeks as we look forward to a summer where we can all get back to normal and see our friends and family.”
The latest figures from Public Health England show Worthing registered 120 new cases between February 20 and 26 – an increase of 36 from the previous week.
Its infection rate of 109 is now significantly higher than the national average of 77.
The town is one of only two areas in Sussex, together with Crawley, to have seen cases rise over the last week.
But the slight surge follows weeks of continuous decline in cases since the beginning of the year, from a peak of 764 cases per 100,000 people in early January.
Worthing’s neighbours have enjoyed more positive coronavirus news of late.
Adur’s infections continue to decline, dropping to a rate of 42 cases per 100,000 people after recording eight fewer positive tests than the week before.
The number of cases in Arun fell by 73, taking its infection rate to 87 per 100,000 people.
In contrast to Worthing, Horsham’s rate of 28 is among the lowest in the region. Forty new cases were recorded for the week ending February 26 – 17 fewer than the previous week.
The vaccination programme remains a light at the end of the tunnel as social restrictions begin to ease over the coming months.
A total of 35,558 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Worthing, as of February 25.
For the whole of the UK, 20,478,619 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
According to Public Health England, 123,296 people have now sadly died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.