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      Almost two-thirds of residents feel the Government was too late introducing a local lockdown in the North East as Covid-19 cases continue to rocket, according to a ChronicleLive survey.
      Tighter restrictions were imposed across the region's seven council areas on September 18 in a bid to combat the spike in coronavirus cases.
      But numbers continue to soar at an alarming rate, with North East cases more than doubling to 2,524 in the week leading to September 21 from 1,107 in the previous seven days.
      According to Public Health England data covering the seven days to September 22, Newcastle now has the highest rate of infection in the North East and the fifth-highest in England – with the city’s numbers almost tripling.
      Newcastle recorded 632 new cases in that week, with an infection rate of 208.7 per 100,000 people. That was compared to 224 new cases and a rate of 74 in the previous 7 days.
      South Tyneside had previously had the second-highest rate in England, but is now eighth according to the latest figures. The borough recorded 301 new cases with an infection rate of 199.4 per 100,000.

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