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Citizens Advice milestone hit by surge in Covid-19

By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas

CITIZENS Advice Gosport has reluctantly put its 80th anniversary celebrations – planned for Wednesday, October 27 – on hold because the borough is one of the country’s top 20 hotspots for coronavirus cases.

An email from the charity’s Chief Officer Valeria Kelly states: “I am sorry to let you know that we have taken the decision to postpone our long awaited event celebrating 80 years of providing advice to the residents of Gosport.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and was arrived at after consideration of the current infection rate of Covid-19 within Gosport.  As I am sure you will appreciate, the safety of our staff and invited guests is paramount and this played a major part in our decision making.

“It is our intention to hold a celebration at a later date.”

Based in Martin Snape House, Pavilion Way, Citizens Advice Gosport provides free, confidential and impartial advice on a wide range of issues, and is part of the Citizens Advice network in England and Wales.

Gosport Covid cases rise by 30 percent

However, as the decision to postpone the celebratory event shows, it is not immune to the impact of the current wave of coronavirus infections.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the borough in the seven days to October 18 was 716, a rise of more than 30 per cent on the previous week according to UK Government data.

For comparison, this is converted to a standardised rate of 845.5 per 100,000 population which puts Gosport in the top 20 of the country’s local authority areas with the highest case rates.

Within the borough, high standardised rates of cases were in Lee-on-the-Solent (1,103.8), Rowner (1,086.5), Bridgemary North (1,039.9), Alverstoke & Privett (957.1), and Bridgemary South (863.3).

Rates in neighbouring areas were lower but still relatively high: Fareham has a rate of 516.6 per 100,000 for the seven days ending October 18; Portsmouth 508.6; and 506.6 in Havant.

Image (top): Citizens Advice Gosport 80th anniversay motif. Reproduced with permission