THE city has been put on a yellow warning after coronavirus cases reached record levels.

On Thursday, Brighton and Hove recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic, prompting an alert from the city’s health chief.

Alistair Hill, the council’s director of public health, said the increase has been greatest in young people, particularly those aged 16 to 24.

“We know that many have caught the virus when visiting friend’s houses and at parties,” he said.

“Therefore we are asking everyone to play their part and follow the guidance, especially all young people across the city.”

The Argus:

Mr Hill has set up an “escalation framework” using a traffic light system – from green to yellow, amber then red.

The aim is to keep everyone in the city up to date about the current rate of confirmed cases here and how they can help to prevent the spread of infection.

The four stages are:

  • Green: Confirmed cases are low. People must keep washing their hands, social distancing, wearing face coverings where advised and limiting groups to six people to control the virus.
  • Yellow: Confirmed cases have increased. This is our current level. To slow the virus we all need to step up physical distancing, wear face coverings where advised, limit contact between households and follow the “rule of six”. The authority will highlight groups and settings that are particularly affected so people can make extra efforts to reduce their risk.
  • Amber: Confirmed cases have reached a level of concern. This will mean that we are one step away from the government becoming directly involved. As in the yellow stage, the authority will highlight groups and settings that are particularly affected so people can make extra efforts to reduce their risk.
  • Red: Confirmed cases are at a very high level. The government will now provide the city with targeted advice and support. If the numbers increase they will introduce restrictions and lockdowns in Brighton and Hove.

The new system comes a week after the highest number of cases was recorded in a single day – 21.

The figure, which is reported on the council’s website, has a slight delay compared with daily government totals.

Previously, the highest number the city has recorded in a single day was 20 – which was on April 8.

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However, Brighton and Hove recorded relatively few cases of coronavirus during the UK’s “first wave” – in March and April – when compared with other areas in the country.

As well as this, testing capacity is substantially higher than April levels. However, the recent high figures come despite widespread problems people are having in getting tested in the city.

This is partly due to national demand for testing exceeding laboratory capacity.

Sussex’s largest coronavirus testing centre at the Amex stadium, which had the capacity to conduct 1,000 tests per day, was closed in August.

Replacement sites around the city are currently being looked at by the government. The aim is for up to three testing sites covering east, west and central Brighton and Hove.

Residents’ struggle to get tested came as the R number officially rose above 1 nationally and in the South East.

This is the coronavirus reproduction number – the number of people the average person infects.

When it is above one, the virus is spreading exponentially.

The Argus:

Alistair Hill said: “The current alert level in Brighton and Hove is yellow. This means, confirmed cases are increasing.

“In the seven days up to September 10, we have seen a total of 59 confirmed covid cases.

“This is an increase from 32 cases in the previous seven-day period – up to September 3.”

People must now follow the rule of “rule of six” introduced on Monday.

You must not meet outside your household in groups of more than six people and always think “hands, face, space”.

Some of the new cases in the city – found in students at Cardinal Newman school and Bhasvic in Hove – have been linked to a “social gathering” in Hangleton.

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Today, The Argus reported on how neighbours had to call the police to “hundreds” of youngsters who turned up to a party in Trinity Street, Brighton, on the weekend.

The police were too busy to turn up.