Warning as West Bromwich infection rate now higher than Manchester

The coronavirus infection rate in West Bromwich is now higher than that in Manchester, council bosses have said.

The average infection rate in central West Bromwich was at 483 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to October 27, compared to the rate of 471 in Manchester.

Sandwell Council bosses say infection rates are also very high in areas surrounding West Bromwich town centre – including Hateley Heath, Charlemont with Grove Vale and Greets Green and Lyng.

Hateley Heath's rate was 458.4 in the week to October 27, Charlemont with Grove Vale's was 458.2 and Greets Green and Lyng's was 312.3.

Ward cases in Sandwell between October 21 and 27. Photo: Sandwell Council

As infection rates rise across the West Midlands as a whole, Covid-19 admissions into hospitals and deaths are also increasing.

Sandwell's infection rate as a whole was 317.9 in the week to October 26 - the latest period for which full data is available - compared to 401.1 in South Staffordshire and 336.3 in Walsall.

The surge in cases will add to fears Sandwell and the rest of the West Midlands could soon be moved into Tier 3 - the "very high risk" level that Manchester is currently under.

Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Solihull are all currently in Tier 2, with Dudley and Staffordshire moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 on Saturday.

Latest Covid-19 infection rates

The latest rolling seven-day infection rate of Covid-19 by local authority area, compared to the previous week.

The figures are for the seven days to October 26, with data for the most recent four days (October 27-30) excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

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

From left to right, it reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to October 26; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to October 26; rate of new cases in the seven days to October 19; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to October 19.

  • South Staffordshire 401.1 (451), 237.5 (267)

  • Cannock Chase 343.4 (346), 230.2 (232)

  • Walsall 336.3 (960), 235.0 (671)

  • Sandwell 317.9 (1044), 223.5 (734)

  • Stoke-on-Trent 315.9 (810), 221.6 (568)

  • Birmingham 276.4 (3156), 240.6 (2747)

  • Dudley 260.6 (838), 163.9 (527)

  • Wolverhampton 251.0 (661), 197.8 (521)

  • Stafford 243.3 (334), 162.4 (223)

  • Lichfield 234.8 (246), 164.2 (172)

  • Solihull 229.2 (496), 225.5 (488)

  • Telford and Wrekin 219.6 (395), 168.5 (303)

  • Shropshire 135.5 (438), 87.3 (282)

Sandwell Council's deputy leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: "Infection rates are now at dangerous levels.

“We urge local people to stay home and not have visitors except for essential visits for care and assistance.

“If you do need to go out then keep at least two metres from other people and wear a face covering.

“Infection can be fatal, either for you, or someone in your family who you pass the infection on to.”

More Covid-19 coverage:

Earlier this week Birmingham’s Council leader Ian Ward said he was in talks over the imposition of the stricter measures

Councillor Crompton has said she working with him and other council leaders in readiness for Tier 3 restrictions.

She said: “I have been in discussions with all the West Midlands council leaders and we do feel that a consistent approach across the region would be the best way forward.

“However we have had no official announcement as yet.

“Obviously we are united in our commitment to keeping people safe and clamping down on the virus – while also trying to protect their jobs and our regional economy and we will press government for every possible support.

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