Covid-19 spreading in the commuter belt around London, figures reveal



Covid-19 is spreading in commuter areas around London, official figures reveal today.

South Bucks, which includes Beaconsfield, has seen its coronavirus rate rise to 198.4 cases in the week to October 24 per 100,000 people, (139 cases), compared to a rate of 125.6 for the previous seven days (88 cases).

The rate in Brentwood district council, Essex, has jumped to 192.2 (148 cases), compared to 98.7 for the previous week (76 cases).

In Cambridge, the rate has gone up to 189.1 (236 cases), compared to 125 (156 cases), in Slough to 169.2 (253 cases), compared to 149.1 (223 cases), and in Brighton and Hove to 155 (451 cases), from 87.7 (255 cases), according to the analysis by the PA news agency.


Oxford has a rate of 137.1 (209 cases), up from 125.3 (191 cases), Winchester 127.3 (159 cases), from 79.3 (99 cases), Reading 114.4 (185 cases), from 91.5 (148 cases), Swindon 109.4 (243 cases), from 68.4 (152 cases), Basingstoke and Deane 88.3 (156 cases), from 60 (106 cases), and Canterbury 87.1 (144 cases), from 49 (81 cases).

Many boroughs in London have higher infection rates than less highly-populated areas of the home counties, with three already above 200/100,000, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kingston.

However, the pattern has been for low infection areas to also see the disease spread and then breach the key threshold of 100 new cases a week per 100,000 population, which was one of the trigger indicators for the capital going into Tier 2.

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Wealthier areas may be seeing their figures particularly skewed by students from the area testing positive at universities in other parts of the country but being counted as their local cases.

In Hertfordshire, Hertsmere has seen a rate of 154.4 (162 cases), up from 113.4 (119 cases), Watford a rate of 149.1 (144 cases), up from 110.8 (107 cases), Welwyn Hatfield a rate of 113.8 (140 cases), compared to 95.9 (118 cases), St Albans a rate of 101 (150 cases), from 72.8 (108 cases), East Hertfordshire which includes Bishop’s Stortford a rate of 105.5 (158 cases), from 94.8 (142 cases). In Three Rivers which includes Rickmansworth the rate has fallen to 115.7 (108 cases), from 132.9 (124 cases).

People walk past a signage amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in Basildon (REUTERS)

In Surrey, the rate in Guildford has risen to 136.2 (203 cases), from 81.9 (122 cases), in Runnymede which includes Chertsey it has gone up to 133.1 (119 cases), from 90.6 (81 cases), in Elmbridge which includes Esher it has risen to 132.3 (181 cases), from 146.9 (201 cases), Epsom and Ewell up to 127.7 (103 cases), from 79.4 (64 cases), Waverley which includes Godalming is up to 120.3 (152 cases), from 102.9 (130 cases), Mole Valley which includes Dorking up to 116.9 (102 cases), from 88.3 (77 cases), Woking is at 109.1 (110 cases), from 92.3 (93 cases).

In Essex, Basildon has seen a rate of 151.2 (283 cases), from 109.0 (204 cases), Colchester a rate of 124.8 (243 cases), from 102.2 (199 cases), and Chelmsford a rate of 109.9 (196 cases), up from 71.2 (127 cases) In Buckinghamshire, the rate in Aylesbury Vale is up to 114.3 (228 cases), from 65.7 (131 cases), and in Wycombe to 93.3 (163 cases), from 71.6 (125 cases).

In Wokingham, Berkshire, the rate has climbed to 102.3 (175 cases), from 74.2 (127 cases), in Sevenoaks, Kent, to 85.3 (103 cases), from 59.6 (72 cases), South Oxfordshire 94.3 (134 cases), from 78.1 (111 cases), and Mid Sussex which includes Haywards Heath to 85.4 (129 cases), from 48.3 (73 cases).

Many other areas in the home counties have seen small increases, and a small number decreases.

The boroughs in London and surrounding areas with the highest rates are still far below the worst hotspots in the North, though scientists say the virus is now spreading faster in the South.

Blackburn with Darwen continues to have the highest rate in England, with 1,160 new cases recorded in the seven days to October 24 – the equivalent of 774.9 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 559.8 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to October 17.

Oldham has the second highest rate, up from 449.6 to 669.3, with 1,587 new cases.

Rossendale is in third place, where the rate has risen from 514.8 to 665.9, with 476 new cases.

Other areas recording big jumps in case rates include Doncaster (up from 326.4 to 531.0, with 1,656 new cases); Wigan (up from 462.5 to 656.3, with 2,157 new cases); South Staffordshire (up from 192.1 to 372.7, with 419 new cases) and South Derbyshire (up from 155.7 to 333.8, with 358 new cases).



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