Although the number of Covid-19 cases in Sheffield is edging closer to 38,000 data suggests that transmission of the virus in the city has continued to slow down.
There has now been a total of 37,739 cases recorded in Sheffield since the start of the pandemic last year with 1,114 deaths registered on January 29.
But in the week between January 31 to February 6, there were 999 cases recorded in the city, 302 less than the previous week.
The seven-day case rate of people with at least one positive Covid-19 test result has continued to fall.
Latest statistics from February 6 found there were 171 cases recorded per 100,000 people in the area, marginally lower than the average across England which stands at 179 cases per 100,000.
That rate of infection is the lowest recorded in Sheffield since December 25.
Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield, said he hoped that rates in the city would continue to fall despite the impact of the new variants of the disease.
In his position statement for Sheffield City Council, Fell said: “We all hope it will get down to the rates that we saw last spring or last summer at 20 [cases] per 100,000.
“It may take a while to get there and the impact of the B117 variant or the Kent variant will put upward pressure on transmission.”
With one in five hospital beds in Sheffield currently treating someone with Covid-19, Fell expressed a warning to younger people about the dangers of the disease.
Fell said: “There is a significant number of people aged between 45-65 in critical care so anyone who thinks this is only an illness of the very elderly is mistaken.
“It’s a disease that can affect younger people as well and infects younger people really quite seriously.”
Although he expects some restrictions to remain for some time to come, Fell did exercise some positive caution over the coming summer.
He said: “I would expect summer coming to be a bit like last summer. I suspect there’ll be a fairly low rate of circulating virus but nowhere near as low as it was last summer.
“I expect that those who are fully vaccinated, which would be a significant proportion of the population by then, may be enabled to do different things.”