Thirteen more cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Hertsmere as police and public health officials urge the public to “play their part” to halt the spread.

Figures published daily by the government show the current seven day rate for cases in Hertsmere is only just outside the top 10 in England – and is now higher than some areas currently with lockdown restrictions.

Today, Hertfordshire County Council confirmed the majority of the new infections in the borough, which have quadrupled in a week, is due to a number of large gatherings that have taken place in homes.

Since August 25, 52 cases have been identified, primarily involving 16 and 17-year-olds.

Between August 25 and August 31, eight cases were people living in Radlett, six in Bushey Heath, five in Cowley Hill in Borehamwood, five in Elstree & Aldenham, and four in Bushey North.

The rest were spread around the rest of Hertsmere.

In the seven days to September 2, the rate of cases in Hertsmere is 44.2 (per 100,000 population), which is just outside the top 10 in England.

This rate is higher than anywhere else in southern England and now higher than Trafford, Tameside, and Burnley - areas where there are currently restrictions on meeting inside other people's homes.

It is worth bearing in mind that areas like Trafford and Tameside in Greater Manchester do have larger populations than Hertsmere, so the number of cases are higher - but the actual rate is lower.

This week, director of public health for Hertfordshire, Jim McManus, said testing in Hertsmere has been above average for Hertfordshire for some time - but only now is the borough seeing a rise in cases.

The county council says it is engaged in "intensive tracing" of cases in Hertsmere to identify where people are linked, and public health officials will be having daily meetings over the weekend to review every case.

At this stage, the council could not confirm whether any cases were linked to people returning from abroad.

The county council has given no indication yet that Hertsmere is heading for lockdown restrictions but the Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum has launched a campaign today - "Act now to stop the spread in Hertsmere".

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This weekend, firefighters, police officers, environmental health and trading standards officers will be descending on Borehamwood town centre this to drive home the message – “to act now to halt the rise of coronavirus in the community”.

Darryl Keen, director of community protection and chief fire officer, said: “We are getting boots on the ground to spread the message in the shopping centres and town centres, talking to shoppers and people heading out for an evening meal or drink with family and friends.

“It is clear: we all need to act now to protect one another. Wear face coverings, keep up social distancing, wash your hands more often and for longer. It is important that people self-isolate for 14 days if they have had contact with someone who tested positive – even if they have recently tested negative.”

Before 13 new cases were announced, Councillor Tim Hutchings, executive member for public health in Hertfordshire, said: “We can confirm there is currently a small but growing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Borehamwood area, primarily among young adults 16-17 years old.

“Contact tracing has begun and early indications are that transmission is likely to have taken place in a number of large social gatherings in private homes in the last week of August. In these cases, transmission did not occur in a school setting but through a number of friendship groups within the wider local Jewish community.

“We have already written to parents and carers of children at schools where fellow pupils are now playing their part by self-isolating, as well as working with community leaders, to remind them of the importance of following the government’s guidance to minimise the risks of the spread of COVID-19.

“Specifically, we also want to take this opportunity to remind young adults – as well as their parents - to stick to the rules regarding social distancing and the number of people you meet from outside your household.

“It’s vital that if you have come into close contact with someone who has been infected you should self-isolate immediately for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, book a test at: or call 119.”

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Head teacher at Yavneh College in Borehamwood, Spencer Lewis, confirmed yesterday that some of his pupils are self-isolating.

He said: “There are some Yavneh College pupils who currently need to isolate and who will not be able to start school on time next week. Most of these pupils were in direct contact with the few who have tested positive and all I am pleased to say, have only mild symptoms.

“We are liaising with Public Health England and are following their advice closely. These are difficult times for everyone.

“We will soon be contacting those pupils who are isolating with details as to how they can access and complete their school work while they are away from school.”

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Credit: PA

Data published this week by the Office for National Statistics shows a total of 181 deaths of people living in Hertsmere where Covid-19 appeared on the death certificate – which is the highest in Hertfordshire.

Many people who died were care home residents.

A death in a hospital in the week ending August 21 was the first Covid-19 death of someone living in Hertsmere for more than a month.

According to a map released by the ONS last week, the wards in Hertsmere which have experienced the most Covid-19 deaths are Potters Bar Parkfield (30 deaths), Bushey Heath (27), Cowley Hill (24) and Elstree & Aldenham (15).