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More support to tackle spike in Covid cases

The risks of coronavirus remain high. To keep everyone safe, please stay cautious. Get the latest information about coronavirus.

Middlesbrough and the rest of the North East will receive extra national support to tackle high Covid infection rates.

The Department of Health and Social Care is to confirm the region will become an 'enhanced response area'.

The additional support for 12 council areas will kick in from Monday (July 26) for an initial five-week period.

Middlesbrough Council will agree specific details of the support package and more information will be released as soon as possible.

The change does not represent a ‘local lockdown'. No new legal restrictions will be introduced and there is no new guidance on travel.

In other areas of the country, the government has provided more resources to assist with vaccinations, testing and communications.

Middlesbrough and the wider region has among the highest infection rates in the country, with public health bosses stressing the importance of vaccinations and caution around social contact.

As of Thursday, Middlesbrough's infection rate was 1,321 per 100,000 of population.

Figures up to July 18 show that around 19,000 eligible under-40s in Middlesbrough are still to come forward for a jab.

Residents can help to stop the spread of infection by coming forward for both vaccinations as soon as possible.

Local people are also being urged to continue wearing face coverings when they come into close contact with people they don't live with.

Walk-in vaccination slots are available on Saturday in both North Ormesby and Thorntree. Full details can be found on the Tees Valley CCG website.

Vaccinations can also be booked online via the NHS.

Anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 should stay at home until they can get a PCR test. The main symptoms are a new, continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Free tests can be booked online or by calling 119.

The person with symptoms should stay at home, along with everyone they live with, until the result is known. If the result is positive everyone in the house must self-isolate for 10 days.

Free lateral flow tests for people without symptoms can be ordered online or collected from locations around Middlesbrough. More information is available on the twice-weekly testing page.

Join the millions already vaccinated