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Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire analysed by area: Should we be concerned by weekly rise in cases?




Confirmed Covid-19 case numbers roses slightly in the second week of March in Cambridgeshire.

There were 358, up 23 (6.9 per cent) across the county from March 7-14.

Cambridge (up 64.3 per cent) and South Cambridgeshire (up 71.8 per cent) witnessed significant percentage rises, as our detailed analysis for every area of the county below shows, but these were from low bases, meaning a small number of cases has a big impact on this metric.

The numbers could reflect the return of pupils to schools on March 8, as a widespread lateral flow test regime was rolled out across secondary schools and positive tests, even when not confirmed by a lab, are included in these numbers.

The testing regime could have captured additional asymptomatic cases, rather than reflecting an actual rise in the genuine infection level across the community.

To assess that, we need longer-term data.

Daily case numbers, which are subject to revision, shows a further 226 cases in the five days from March 15-19 across the county, which does not at this stage suggest a further rise. However, this is early data.

Daily Covid-19 case numbers for Cambridgeshire. Graphic: PHE
Daily Covid-19 case numbers for Cambridgeshire. Graphic: PHE

At 54.8 cases per 100,000, the infection rate for Cambridgeshire as a whole for March 7-14 remains just below the national average.

Numbers overall are well down on those seen in February and January, showing the success of both lockdown and the vaccination programme.

As the restrictions are eased, health authorities will continue to stress the importance of following guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

Reflecting on a year since the first lockdown, Dr Liz Robin, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s director of public health, said: “A year ago, I never would have predicted that we would so quickly have developed not one, but multiple vaccines and already be well on the way to distributing them to everyone. The vaccine is a real milestone, but it's important for us to remember it takes time to have its effect. Up to three weeks after the first dose, and for maximum protection it is essential to have the second dose too.

“Because of this, and the fact that many working age and young adults have not yet been vaccinated, it’s so important that we continue to follow social distancing guidance and the changes in the lockdown rules closely, as well as getting tested when necessary. We are at a transition point. It will get better, but it will take time.

“However, I have great faith in our residents and communities who have gone and above and beyond this last year to keep each other safe. Communities working together have real power in helping the residents that live in them live long and healthier lives.”

Cambridgeshire has now recorded 784 deaths - the last on March 15 - within 28 days of a positive test. If all deaths by March 5 in which Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate are taken into account the numbers rise to 926.

These figures exclude neighbouring Peterborough, which is analysed separately below.

Cambridge

The number of confirmed Covid-19 case rose in the week of March 7-14 compared to the previous seven days.

There were 46 recorded, up 18 (64.3 per cent), but the infection rate of 36.9 cases per 100,000 remained below the national average.

The increase was seen in five areas of the city - Cherry Hinton (eight cases, up from three), East Barnwell and Abbey (six, up from four), East Chesterton (five, up from 0-2), Queen Edith’s (nine, up from 0-2) and Romsey (five, up from 0-2).

Daily case data, which is subject to change, shows a further 21 cases in the five days from March 15-19, taking the total number confirmed since the pandemic began to 5,496.

There have been no deaths within 28 days of a Covid-19 test recorded in the city since February 25. Since the pandemic began, there have been 86.

Taking all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate by March 5, there have been 131.

South Cambridgeshire

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose by 71.8 per cent in the week of March 7-14, compared to the previous seven days.

There were 67 cases, up 28, which took the infection rate to 42.1 cases per 100,000 - still below the national average.

Eight areas recorded a week-on-week increase, but no areas had case numbers in double figures. Both Cambourne and the area of Papworth, Caxton and Fen Drayton recorded nine cases, while Meldreth, Melbourn and Great Chishill recorded eight.

There have been 23 cases in the five days from March 15-19 according to daily case data, which is subject to change. These took the total to 5,639 since the pandemic began.

The last death within 28 days of a positive test was on March 4, which took the total to 155 since the pandemic began. There have been 190, as of March 5, if all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are taken into account.

East Cambridgeshire

There was a drop of two cases week-on-week in East Cambridgeshire.

The district recorded 22 cases in the seven days to March 14, down 8.3 per cent.

The infection rate was 24.5 cases per 100,000 - well below the national average.

Public Health England does not report a specific number if an area records below three cases. Only three areas of East Cambridgeshire were above this threshold for the week - Littleport, with four, Soham, with 10, and Swaffham and Bottisham, with three, meaning there were only five cases spread across the rest of the district.

There have been 24 cases in the five days from March 15-19 according to daily case data, taking the total number of cases in the district since the pandemic began to 2,912.

The last death within 28 days of a positive test was recorded on February 25, which took the total to 92. If all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are taken into account, there had been 108 by March 5.

Huntingdonshire

The number of cases from March 7-14 fell by 37 (26.4 per cent) compared to the previous week to 103 in Huntingdonshire.

This meant the infection rate was 57.9 cases per 100,000, which was above the national average.

Six areas recorded increases week-on-week, including Somersham, Riptons and Raveleys, where 11 cases were recorded. This was joint highest with Buckden and Perry, where case numbers halved from 22 the previous week.

Daily case data shows a further 75 cases in the five days from March 15-19, although this data could be subject to change. It took the total number testing positive in the district since the pandemic began to 7,583.

The number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test is now 247, with the last one recorded on March 15. If all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are taken into account, the number is 275 by March 5.

Fenland

The infection rate is Fenland is among the higher range in the UK, at 117.8 cases per 100,000.

There were 120 confirmed cases in the week to March 14, up 16 (15.4 per cent) on the previous week.

Wisbech South and Peckover (31 cases, up from 17), and Wisbech North (26, up from 22) continue to show significantly higher rates of infection than other areas.

Daily case data, which is subject to change, shows a further 82 cases from March 15-19, taking the total to 7,583.

There have been 204 deaths within 28 days of a positive test - the last one was on March 12.

This number rises to 222 if all deaths by March 5 mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are taken into account.

Peterborough

Peterborough’s infection rate - 131 cases per 100,00 people - remains one of the highest in the country.

But case numbers did fall slightly, by 17 (six per cent) to 265, compare to the previous week.

Millfield and Bourges Boulevard continues to record by far the highest number of cases in any area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It had 61, which was only one down on the previous week. Paston, with 29, and Orton Malborne and Goldhay, with 23, were next.

Daily case data, which is subject to change, shows a further 170 cases in the five days from March 15-19, taking the total since the pandemic began to 14,820.

The last death within 28 days of a positive test was recorded on March 13, which took the total to 335. This number rises to 367 if all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate, by March 5, are taken into account.

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