Herefordshire’s coronavirus infection rate continues to soar

THE coronavirus infection rate in Herefordshire has risen to one of the higest levels ever, new data has revealed.

The latest figures from Public Health England shows the infection rate – the number of new cases per 100,00 people – has more than tripled over the last two weeks.

The latest figures, for the seven days to December 27, show the infection rates stands at 187.2 new cases per 100,000 people, higher than 151.5 seven days ago and 59.1 a fortnight ago.

This is because 361 new cases were recorded during the most recent week, more than than the 292 the previous week.

The infection rate is now at one of the highest points ever, with one higher peak at 191.9 in the seven days to November 15.

The rising infection rate was one of the factors in the Government’s decision to move Herefordshire to stricter Tier 3 rules this week.

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Data for the most recent four days (December 28-31) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 253 (80%) have seen a rise in case rates, 60 (19%) have seen a fall, and two are unchanged.

Epping Forest in Essex continues to have the highest rate in England, with 1,750 new cases recorded in the seven days to December 27 – the equivalent of 1,328.9 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 1,291.7 in the seven days to December 20.

Hereford Times: A patient arrives at Southend University hospital in Essex. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireA patient arrives at Southend University hospital in Essex. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The hospitals in Essex have declared a major incident and local authorities, concerned about the number of Covid-19 cases, have asked for military help to increase hospital capacity, with fears over critical care, bed capacity and staff sickness.

Thurrock, also in Essex, has the second highest rate, down slightly from 1,339.9 to 1.298.6, with 2,264 new cases.

Brentwood, again in Essex, is in third place, where the rate has fallen from 1,343.8 to 1,268.5, with 977 new cases.

The areas recording the biggest week-on-week jumps are Rushmoor (up from 468.3 to 798.1, with 755 new cases); Watford (up from 566.4 to 890.5, with 860 new cases); and Harlow (up from 832.7 to 1,121.0, with 976 new cases).

The list has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on December 31 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Here is the top 20 in the list:

From left to right, it reads: name of local authority; the tier of Covid-19 restrictions in which the local authority is currently placed; rate of new cases in the seven days to December 27; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to December 27; rate of new cases in the seven days to December 20; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to December 20.

  1. Epping Forest, Tier 4, 1328.9, (1750), 1291.7, (1701)
  2. Thurrock, Tier 4, 1298.6, (2264), 1339.9, (2336)
  3. Brentwood, Tier 4, 1268.5, (977), 1343.8, (1035)
  4. Castle Point, Tier 4, 1220.5, (1103), 1165.1, (1053)
  5. Redbridge, Tier 4, 1172.6, (3579), 1140.5, (3481)
  6. Broxbourne, Tier 4, 1169.8, (1138), 909.8, (885)
  7. Havering, Tier 4, 1166.2, (3027), 1260.2, (3271)
  8. Harlow, Tier 4, 1121.0, (976), 832.7, (725)
  9. Barking and Dagenham, Tier 4, 1116.0, (2376), 1071.8, (2282)
  10. Bexley, Tier 4, 1113.2, (2764), 983.1, (2441)
  11. Enfield, Tier 4, 1080.6, (3607), 847.5, (2829)
  12. Newham, Tier 4, 1070.7, (3781), 853.5, (3014)
  13. Basildon, Tier 4, 1037.9, (1943), 1169.3, (2189)
  14. Tower Hamlets, Tier 4, 1025.1, (3329), 891.5, (2895)
  15. Rochford, Tier 4, 998.1, (872), 1116.0, (975)
  16. Dartford, Tier 4, 990.2, (1115), 897.8, (1011)
  17. Southend-on-Sea, Tier 4, 972.6, (1781), 1045.7, (1915)
  18. Gravesham, Tier 4, 964.1, (1031), 903.3, (966)
  19. Medway, Tier 4, 938.8, (2615), 1091.3, (3040)
  20. Waltham Forest, Tier 4, 932.2, (2582), 948.1, (2626)

Here’s how Herefordshire compares to nearby areas:

145. Gloucester, Tier 4, 322.9, (417), 258.7, (334)

218. Forest of Dean, Tier 4, 232.7, (202), 217.8, (189)

249. Worcester, Tier 3, 208.5, (211), 162.0, (164)

273. Herefordshire, Tier 3, 187.2, (361), 151.5, (292)

295. Cheltenham, Tier 4, 153.0, (178), 153.9, (179)

302. Malvern Hills, Tier 3, 142.3, (112), 100.4, (79)

308. Shropshire, Tier 3, 130.6, (422), 95.3, (308)

Hereford Times