Infection rates continue to rise rapidly across Midlands

New figures reveal the rate of virus spread across the West Midlands.

It shows that infection rates continue to rise rapidly almost all parts of the region.

South Staffordshire is the worst affected area with an infection rate of more than 460 per 100,000. That figure is affected, however, by a large number of infections in Featherstone and Brinsford prisons, which are located in the district.

Every region, apart from Powys, is now experiencing levels of more than 200 cases per 100,000. And there have been particularly rapid spreads in urban areas, with Dudley now among the worst affected after previously enjoying relatively low infection levels.

Both Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire have shown significant increases, but over the border in Powys and Wrexham levels have dropped during the Welsh circuit breaker lockdown.

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There are some signs nationally that the virus may have peaked in some areas. Areas like Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool and the North East have experienced fairly sharp falls in the rate of infection.

It is hoped that the falling trend now being experienced in some northern areas will move south, with the West Midlands showing a peak in the next couple of weeks.

The figures, for the seven days to November 5, are based on tests carried out in laboratories and in the wider community.

R number

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Data for the more recent four days (November 6-9) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Nationally, the majority of areas in England (210 out of 315) have seen a rise in case rates. It suggests that the R number continues to be above one, meaning that every infected person is in turn infecting more than one other person.

The figures pre-date the current lockdown, so the hope is that the current measures will have an impact.

Oldham continues to have the highest rate in England, with 1,835 new cases recorded in the seven days to November 5 – the equivalent of 773.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Blackburn with Darwen has the second highest rate, down slightly from 730.1 to 719.5, with 1,077 new cases.

Hull is in third place, where the rate has jumped sharply from 373.0 to 671.3, with 1,744 new cases. This is also the biggest week-on-week jump for any area in England.

Other areas recording large jumps include Lincolnshire, Scarborough and Amber Valley (up from 273.1 to 423.0, with 542 new cases.

The list is based on official Public Health England data.

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