Parts of south west England affected by dodgy test results have come through the worst of a surge in Covid cases, according to the latest data.
Cheltenham, Bath and Gloucester all saw an alarming rapid rise in infections in October after thousands were wrongly told their test results were negative.
But the pace of infection has now slowed and is in decline in many areas as cases drop in the UK overall after half term.
The remote Orkney Islands in Scotland has emerged as one of the latest hotspots having gone from being relatively Covid-free to the top of the list of areas where cases are growing fastest.
Tewkesbury and Stroud, both in Gloucestershire, remain the two worst affected areas in the country.
Around 43,000 people received false negative results from their PCR tests between September 8 and October 12 – meaning many people who had the virus did not self isolate.
Hospital admissions in the area have begun to rise in line with the increase in cases, forcing two major hospitals to introduce new restrictions.
Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals are limiting patients visits to one per person and for only two hours a day in pre-arranged slots.
In the UK as a whole, Covid cases rose sharply in the first few weeks of October, leading some to predict the Government’s ‘Plan B’ would be needed this winter.
Top five areas where Covid cases are rising
- Orkney Islands (up from 258.9 per 100,000 to 486.6)
- Blaby (347.2 to 504.2)
- Aberdeenshire (327.9 to 460.5)
- Arun (507.7 to 603.3)
- Mid Sussex (455.5 to 546.9)
This involves measures including compulsory face masks and work from home orders returning.
But, after peaking on October 18, cases are now decreasing again and have dropped by nearly 10% compared to last week.
The latest figures cover the seven days to October 28 and are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in either a lab-reported or rapid lateral flow test, by specimen date.
Of 377 areas in the UK, 64 (less than 20%) have seen a week-on-week rise in cases while 313 have seen a fall.
Top 10 worst affected areas for Covid in the UK
The list reads, from left to right: name of local authority; nation or region of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to October 28; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to October 28; rate of new cases in the seven days to October 21; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to October 21.
- Tewkesbury, South-west England, 831.1, (803), 1216.1, (1175)
- Stroud, South-west England, 771.7, (933), 1206.8, (1459)
- Torfaen, Wales, 769.8, (730), 1059.8, (1005)
- Copeland, North-west England, 761.3, (518), 793.6, (540)
- Gosport, South-east England, 757.0, (641), 936.5, (793)
- Bath and North East Somerset, South-west England, 741.0, (1455), 1058.3, (2078)
- North Tyneside, North-east England, 739.2, (1544), 760.8, (1589)
- St Albans, Eastern England, 735.3, (1098), 685.8, (1024)
- Swindon, South-west England, 717.9, (1600), 1113.2, (2481)
- Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, 714.7, (967), 880.3, (1191)
Outside the south west, Torfaen in Wales, Copeland in north west England and Gosport in south east England are all seeing high numbers of cases.
Infections are also on the rise in parts of Scotland again, with Aberdeenshire joining the Orkney Islands in areas with the biggest increase in cases week-on-week.
Blaby in Leicestershire, Aberdeenshire, Arun and Mid Sussex make up the rest of the top five areas which saw the biggest increases.
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