Covid infection rates in parts of Derbyshire still double the national average - despite steep falls across the county
Covid-19 infection levels in Derbyshire are now the lowest they have been since early October – despite some areas still being at double the national average.
There has been a a huge drop from the county’s early January peak of more than 5,000 cases within a week and is the lowest it has seen since early October, before both the current lockdown and the second national shutdown in November.
However, the number of cases clocked in the most recent week is only just below the total Derbyshire reported in the entire month of September.
This is despite a significant drop of 75 per cent since early January.
Derbyshire is now seeing well below 200 new Covid-19 cases per day, down from a peak of more than 900 in a single day just under two months ago.
February has seen a third of the recorded case numbers than the county saw in January, down from 18,700 to around 7,000.
Infection numbers per 100,000 people show that most of Derbyshire is still above the national average (77 per 100,000), with only the Derbyshire Dales (64) and North East Derbyshire (66) below. In Bolsover, the rate is at 145 cases and in Erewash it is at 156.
This comes as schools across the country look to open their doors to all pupils from next Monday (March 8) with new testing regimes and mandatory mask wearing for all those eligible at all times, including in classrooms.
When schools reopened last September, after a summer in which hospitals were largely free of all Covid-19 patients and case levels dropped to negligible amounts, infection levels quickly surged.
This eventually led to an intensive tier system of restrictions, lockdown in November, a curbed Christmas and a third lockdown in January.
Here are the infection rates per 100,000 people in the week to February 26 for each area of Derbyshire, followed by the corresponding number of new cases:
Amber Valley: 115 cases per 100,000 people, 148 new cases
Bolsover: 145, 117
Chesterfield: 100, 105
Derbyshire Dales: 64, 46
Derby: 140, 360
Erewash: 156, 180
High Peak: 88, 82
North East Derbyshire: 66, 67
South Derbyshire: 155, 166
The national average is 77 per 100,000 people in the week to February 26.
Derby has a lower infection rate (140) than its fellow East Midlands cities and this rate is still dropping, although the reduction is slow and is still extremely high compared to the summer and is higher than most other cities in England.
Its rate is nearly double the national average, however its weekly number of cases (360) is now far lower than the 1,700+ it recorded at its peak in early January.
For comparison, Liverpool has a rate of 117 with 581 new cases; Sheffield has a rate of 118 with 690 new cases; Birmingham has a rate of 130 with 1,486 new cases; Stoke has a rate of 133 with 341 new cases; Manchester has a rate of 136 with 754 new cases; Nottingham has a rate of 163 with 541 new cases; Leicester has a rate of 208 with 736 new cases.