Derbyshire has clocked 5,000 Covid-19 cases in a week for the first time as infections surge across the county.
For context, the county recorded nearly 1,300 cases of the virus in the entire month of September and 10,702 over the whole of December.
Case rates have doubled across the whole county with Derby’s rate increasing from 221 before Christmas to 634 per 100,000 people. In the High Peak, infection rates have tripled during that same time period from 98 to 364.
The spikes in Amber Valley and Derby are believed to be linked to the new strain of the virus, says Dean Wallace, Derbyshire County Council’s public health director.
Other causes are said to be Christmas mixing, winter conditions and fatigue with Covid regulations.
Data from Public Health England, published by central government, shows that in the week December 29 to January 4, Derbyshire clocked 5,013 cases of the virus.
This is the first time it has surpassed 5,000 weekly cases and is also 1,000 cases higher than its early November high of around 4,000.
It is more than double the number of weekly cases the county was seeing in the days before Christmas (around 1,660).
Derby itself set its new high during the week January 2-8, with 1,697 new confirmed cases of the virus.
This is around the same amount as the whole county was seeing, including Derby, in the days before Christmas. Now Derby hits that total on its own.
At the start of October, Derby was seeing fewer than 250 cases per week.
The county as a whole set a new record on Monday, January 4 for the most new cases reported in a day – 992.
This is the first time it has surpassed 900 new cases within 24 hours.
Derby’s infection rate per 100,000 people in a week (634) is far higher than its fellow East Midlands cities Leicester (569) and Nottingham (480).
This may be a sign that the new strain of the virus is more prevalent in Derby than in those cities, Mr Wallace confirms.
Derby’s rate is higher than the local area average in England and is the only area in the county to surpass it.
Since the run-up to Christmas, infection rates have tripled in Erewash and the High Peak.
Meanwhile, infection rates have doubled in Amber Valley, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, North East Derbyshire and South Derbyshire.
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Here are the current case rates per 100,000 in the week to January 7, followed by the corresponding number of new cases:
Amber Valley: 506 cases per 100,000 people, 648 new cases
Bolsover: 474, 382
Chesterfield: 359, 377
Derbyshire Dales: 232, 168
Derby: 634, 1,631
Erewash: 385, 444
High Peak: 364, 337
North East Derbyshire: 343, 348
South Derbyshire: 467, 501
The average area in England has a case rate of 531 infections per 100,000 people.
During the same week, Sheffield had an infection rate of 302 with 1,764 new cases; Manchester had a rate of 454 with 2,512 new cases; Nottingham had a rate of 480 with 1,599 new cases; Leicester had a rate of 569 with 2,015 new cases; and Liverpool had a rate of 988 with 4,923 cases