District virus cases fall sharply

By Daniel Clark   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Friday 19th February 2021 5:41 pm
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The lowest weekly number of coronavirus cases confirmed across Devon and Cornwall since the start of October has been recorded – with South Hams seeing a third of the cases it did last week.

A total of 835 new cases were confirmed across the two counties in the last week – the lowest since the week ending October 2 – with the total since the start of the pandemic at 44,939.

Devon also has the lowest infection rates of any upper tier authority in England, with Plymouth second and Cornwall third, and at a lower tier level, the four lowest infection rates are all in Devon.

Government statistics show that 835 new cases have been confirmed across the region in the past seven days in both pillar 1 data from tests carried out by the NHS and pillar 2 data from commercial partners, compared to 1,169 new cases confirmed last week.

Of the 835 new cases confirmed since February 12, 241 were in Cornwall, with 81 in East Devon, 92 in Exeter, 57 in Mid Devon, 23 in North Devon, 127 in Plymouth, 13 in South Hams, 65 in Teignbridge, 119 in Torbay, 11 in Torridge and 6 in West Devon.

This compares of the 1,169 cases confirmed between February 6 and 12, of which, were in Cornwall, with 90 in East Devon, 68 in Exeter, 101 in Mid Devon, 24 in North Devon, 145 in Plymouth, 39 in South Hams, 105 in Teignbridge, 149 in Torbay, 11 in Torridge and 12 in West Devon

For specimens from between February 8 and 14, Torridge is the area in England with the lowest infection rate (14.6/100,000), with West Devon second (19.7/100,000), South Hams third (21.8/100,000).

At upper tier level, Devon has the lowest infection rate in England at 46.1/100,000, and is the lowest since September 30, with Plymouth having the second lowest and Cornwall third.

The latest positivity rates for tests carried out stands at 0.9 per cent in South Hams.

In terms of infection rates per age range, case rates are highest in the 20-39 age ranges across Devon and Cornwall, with only North Devon (40-59s) and Plymouth and Cornwall (80+) having infection rates higher in different age groups.

The number of patients in all of Devon’s hospitals following a positive Covid-19 test has fallen to its lowest figure since October – with no patients at all in North Devon Hospital – and a fall everywhere in Devon and Cornwall

As of Tuesday morning (Feb 16), there were 213 patients across the county in hospital after a positive test, down on the 325 as of the previous Tuesday, a drop of a third in previous seven days.

In the last week, there have been 24 deaths in Devon and Cornwall hospitals of patients within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, with 14 in Cornwall, four in Plymouth, four in Torbay, and two in Exeter.

In terms of the latest MSOA cluster maps, that cover the period of specimen dates between February 8 and February 14, there are 108 areas of Devon and Cornwall with between 0-2 cases, up from 73 as of last Friday

It comes as Steve Brown, director of public health Devon, said that while the news that Devon has the lowest infection rates is good news, he added: “We’re seeing the larger proportion of people testing positive in that younger working age group, so I want to remind people not to be complacent. Not just when you’re in work, but also travelling to and from work.”

It comes as more than a third of the adult population of Devon and Cornwall. have now had their first Covid-19 vaccine, latest NHS England figures show.

The COVID-19 cases are identified by taking specimens from people and sending these specimens to laboratories around the UK to be tested. If the test is positive, this is a referred to as a lab-confirmed case.

Confirmed positive cases are matched to ONS geographical area codes using the home postcode of the person tested.

Cases received from laboratories by 12.30am are included in the counts published that day. While there may have been new cases of coronavirus confirmed or people having tested positive, those test results either yet to reach PHE for adding to the dataset or were not received in time for the latest daily figures to be published.

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