A spike in coronavirus cases among young people in Trafford has prompted urgent action by health bosses.
The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has risen in the borough, with 17-23-year-olds specifically accounting for around half of all new cases.
New cases in Trafford rose from 26 in the week ending July 17 to 77 the following week.
Of the 77 cases, 39 were people were aged 15-25, up from nine for the same cohort a week earlier.
Public Health bosses say they aren’t sure what has caused the spike but say there has been a rise in youngsters getting swabbed for the virus.
A mobile testing unit has been set up at University Academy 92 in Old Trafford in response to the trend.
Warnings with advice on symptoms and testing have also been circulated by GP practices.
Eleanor Roaf, director of Public Health at Trafford Council, said: “We have seen a rise in young people coming forward to be tested and this has led to an increase in positive cases.
“We don’t know exactly why this is but we are thanking younger people for acting responsibly in coming forward for tests when they feel ill.
“We think that the young people have been contacting each other and raising awareness of the importance of testing.
“If this is the case, we would like to thank them for their efforts, as this will help us stop further spread of the disease.
“I would urge everyone to continue to stick to the rules around social distancing and hand-washing when they are meeting up with friends or going out to pubs and restaurants.”
Health officials say they are making sure more people of all ages can access tests and that businesses comply with guidance on social distancing.
Restaurants, pubs and bars that have reopened since lockdown are being inspected to ensure they comply with social distancing and staff hygiene measures.
Coun Jane Slater, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Equalities said “While any increase in cases are a cause for concern I am reassured that people are coming forward to be tested and I would urge anyone showing symptoms to make sure they are tested and if they test positive to self-isolate.
“No-one should be complacent as the virus has not gone away and still poses a risk especially to the vulnerable in our society.”
Dr Mark Jarvis, Medical Director at NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added: “My colleagues and I have witnessed first-hand the effects of this virus and it is absolutely true to say that this pandemic is not over.
“Together, we have done an excellent job in keeping cases very low in Trafford but we cannot allow complacency to creep in and undo what we’ve achieved.
“Please, if you feel unwell and are showing symptoms such as a change of taste and smell, have a new persistent cough or have a fever, book a test as soon as possible.
“You are not just looking after yourself, you are looking after the people around you, whether it’s your friends, family or local community.”