The county council has confirmed a surge in cases of Covid-19 in Hertsmere primarily involves teenagers.

The rate of new cases in the borough is currently the highest in the south of England at 44.2 - although a senior councillor is describing the situation right now as a "small but growing number" of positive cases.

Since August 25, 52 cases have been confirmed in Hertsmere, according to the government's daily coronavirus dashboard, which is four times as many as the previous week.

Councillor Tim Hutchings, executive member for public health in Hertfordshire, says cases are growing in the Borehamwood area, including Radlett and Elstree, mainly involving adults aged 16 and 17.

He said: "Contact tracing has begun and early indications are that transmission is likely to have taken place in a number of large social gatherings in private homes in the last week of August.

"In these cases, transmission did not occur in a school setting but through a number of friendship groups within the wider local Jewish community."

Head teacher at Yavneh College, a Jewish school in Borehamwood, Spencer Lewis, confirmed yesterday some of his pupils were self-isolating.

He said: "There are some Yavneh College pupils who currently need to isolate and who will not be able to start school on time next week. Most of these pupils were in direct contact with the few who have tested positive and all I am pleased to say, have only mild symptoms.

"We are liaising with Public Health England and are following their advice closely. These are difficult times for everyone.

"We will soon be contacting those pupils who are isolating with details as to how they can access and complete their school work while they are away from school."

Cllr Hutchings added: "We have already written to parents and carers of children at schools where fellow pupils are now playing their part by self-isolating, as well as working with community leaders, to remind them of the importance of following the government’s guidance to minimise the risks of the spread of COVID-19.

"Specifically, we also want to take this opportunity to remind young adults – as well as their parents - to stick to the rules regarding social distancing and the number of people you meet from outside your household.

"It’s vital that if you have come into close contact with someone who has been infected you should self-isolate immediately for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, book a test at: or call 119."

Hertsmere is the second area in Hertfordshire this week the county council has called on residents to act responsibly.

After a rise in cases in Dacorum, around 70 since mid-August, residents were told of the "need to pay close attention to this serious issue of the spread of COVID-19 within the local community".

The Covid-19 case rate in Hertsmere, measured over the seven days to September 2, is just outside the top 10 in England but this does not mean it is just outside the top 10 for the number of cases - rates are expressed per 100,000 population.

Data published this week by the Office for National Statistics shows a total of 181 deaths of people living in Hertsmere where Covid-19 appeared on the death certificate – which is the highest in Hertfordshire.

A death in a hospital in the week ending August 21 was the first Covid-19 death of someone living in Hertsmere for more than a month.

According to a map released by the ONS last week, the wards in Hertsmere which have experienced the most Covid-19 deaths are Potters Bar Parkfield (30 deaths), Bushey Heath (27), Cowley Hill (24) and Elstree & Aldenham (15).