Rachel said:

“Although the infection rate in Redditch remains the highest in Worcestershire, it is now falling according to the latest data. In the last 7 days, the rate has fallen by 13% from 344 per 100,000 to 298 per 100,000. We must remain cautious, but this is also cause for optimism as we hope this rate continues to fall.

“The infection rate in the over 60’s in Redditch has also fallen too. It now stands at 212 per 100,000, down from 222.

“Hospital bosses have also told me they still have good capacity in our county’s hospitals. This is due to a better understanding of the virus and improved treatments since the first wave.

“This data is important because as we know, the Prime Minister has set out the new tiering system which will be introduced on December 2nd. The decision will be based on analysis of the most up-to-date information.

“The Government has set out the criteria it will use to decide which tier a local area will be placed in, and this decision will be made on Thursday. The criteria used to make this decision includes case detection rates in all age groups, case detection rates in the over 60s, the rate at which cases are rising or falling, positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken); and pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

“I am cautiously optimistic now the infection rate in Redditch is falling and heading in the right direction. However, this doesn’t mean we can let our guard down and undo all the hard work we’ve done to drive down the infection rate. We must continue to follow the rules to ensure the infection rate continues to fall.”