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Vaccinations and testing alert as Covid cases soar

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

Rising Covid rates have prompted a fresh appeal for all adults to be double vaccinated as soon as possible.

Infection rates in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland are now both at their highest recorded levels of the pandemic.

Soaring numbers of cases have seen the Middlesbrough rate per 100,000 reach 684, surpassing the previous peak of January.

Redcar and Cleveland's rate is now 601 - also a new high. Other areas of the North East have infection rates between 700 and 800.

Although the link between infection and hospitalisation has been weakened, admissions to James Cook University Hospital are beginning to rise.

All eligible adults are being urged to get both doses of the Covid vaccination as soon as possible.

Esther Mireku, consultant in public health for Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, said: "With case numbers as high as they are in our area, we urgently need people to get vaccinated and follow the established guidance on hands-face-space and fresh air.

"It's vital people act cautiously and it's sensible for people to take regular lateral flow tests, especially if they're meeting lots of people they don't live with.

"There remains a significant risk of catching and spreading Covid-19, which is still leading to serious long-term illness and hospital admissions.

"It's vital people get both jabs as soon as they're able to. The NHS is making thousands of walk-in slots available."

Free rapid tests for people without symptoms can be ordered online. They can also be collected from several locations identified on the online map.

Anyone with any symptoms of Covid-19 should book a free PCR test online or by calling 119. They should stay at home with anyone they live with until the result is known. If the test result is positive there is still a requirement to self-isolate for 10 days.

Walk-in vaccination slots are now available at two venues in Middlesbrough.

Details on slots at North Ormesby Health Village are available on the Boro vaccines website.

Thorntree Surgery has doses of both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca available on Thursdays and Fridays between 8am and 6pm. Slots are available on Saturdays between 8am and 1pm. The walk-ins continue throughout July and August.

Second doses should be taken at least eight weeks after the first.

Join the millions already vaccinated