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Data Focus: Coronavirus case rates remain high, despite recent decreases

Coronavirus cases have fallen across most of England recently, though lockdown measures can be expected to stay in place for some time to come.

According to data analysis by The Speaker, COVID-19 case rates have fallen in over 90% of upper-tier local authority (UTLA) areas in England in the 7-day period ending 18 January, compared to the previous 7-day period. However, while cases have been falling in most areas, around 56% of UTLA areas in England still have a case rate of over 400 cases per 100,000 people.

While there is further for case rates to fall, the reductions indicate that lockdown measures are likely working and this has also been suggested by scientists and government ministers recently. However, UK deaths within 28 days of a COVID-19 test continue to remain very high, making any easing of lockdown measures in the near future seemingly unlikely. 

On Friday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also revealed that some data now suggests that the new variant of COVID-19 first identified in the UK may be more deadly - though the data is early data and further work is taking place to clarify this.

Click through the slides above for some key data and graphs, or read more analysis below based on the latest Coronavirus data.

 

UTLA areas with rising cases

The following upper-tier local authority areas had a higher case rate in the seven day period ending 18 January 2021, compared to the previous seven day period.

UTLA Area Percentage Increase
Northumberland 12.0%
Leicester 7.1%
Middlesbrough 6.5%
Dudley 5.5%
Plymouth 3.8%
Newcastle upon Tyne 2.6%
Solihull 1.2%
Coventry 0.9%
Barnsley 0.7%
Walsall 0.6%
Redcar and Cleveland 0.5%
Dorset 0.3%
Shropshire 0.1%

 

The 20 UTLA areas with the highest prevalence of COVID-19 cases

The following upper-tier local authority areas had the highest rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the seven-day period ending 18 January 2021.

UTLA Area Cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people
Knowsley 1014.83
Slough 940.89
Sandwell 899.98
Wolverhampton 874.48
Hounslow 853.70
Ealing 844.34
Brent 835.73
Barking and Dagenham 824.31
Newham 820.09
Halton 761.15
St. Helens 747.02
Walsall 741.91
Liverpool 723.63
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 722.69
Redbridge 704.41
Croydon 703.37
Birmingham 691.53
Luton 689.97
Thurrock 687.16
Dudley 683.16

 

UTLA areas with the largest decreases in cases

The following upper-tier local authority areas had the largest decreases in their case rate in the seven day period ending 18 January 2021, compared to the previous seven day period.

UTLA Area Percentage Decrease
Isle of Wight -46.4%
Bexley -37.7%
Barking and Dagenham -36.9%
Kensington and Chelsea -36.5%
Tower Hamlets -36.0%
Bracknell Forest -35.9%
York -35.4%
Windsor and Maidenhead -35.2%
Thurrock -35.0%
Sefton -34.9%

 

The 20 UTLA areas with the lowest prevalence of COVID-19 cases

The following upper-tier local authority areas had the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the seven-day period ending 18 January 2021.

UTLA Area Cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people
North East Lincolnshire 112.18
North Lincolnshire 145.68
Devon 161.15
East Riding of Yorkshire 175.57
North Tyneside 195.27
Calderdale 206.66
Rutland 207.88
Torbay 214.29
City of Kingston upon Hull 218.26
Gloucestershire 222.74
Wakefield 232.84
Lincolnshire 237.25
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 237.72
Barnsley 238.19
Sheffield 239.89
Kirklees 244.44
Doncaster 267.72
Northumberland 272.61
North Yorkshire 273.28
West Berkshire 277.06

 

As we approach the end of the third week since another national lockdown was announced in England, there are signs that lockdown measures are working in reducing cases. Many are asking when lockdown measures will end, and for much of the country, the lockdown has effectively already lasted longer than three weeks, due to the introduction of Tier 4 measures for many areas in December. However, due to there being a delay between people testing positive for COVID-19 and being hospitalised, there are still significant pressures on the NHS, and these are expected to continue over the coming weeks. 

Exactly when the national lockdown will end is unknown. A review of the measures is expected to take place around the 15 February, by which point the Government is hoping to have given 15 million people their first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 - however, it is widely expected that the lockdown will continue beyond this point, likely into March. When lockdown measures do ease, schools are expected to open first, with hospitality outlets set to be the last to reopen.

 

 


Data referenced in this article is publicly available from coronavirus.data.gov.uk. Where data is only included up to 18 January, this is to try to ensure accuracy, due to there being a delay between virus tests taking place and cases been recorded. Data may be updated - the inclusion of data here and our analysis is based on the available data at the time of writing. Our analysis has been created for information purposes only and we cannot guarantee its accuracy. 

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