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Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire analysis: 20 areas record an increase in cases as we head towards easing of lockdown



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The latest coronavirus numbers for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough show a region divided, with some areas recording among the lowest Covid-19 infection rates in the country, and others among the highest.

With schools due to reopen from March 8 as England’s lockdown is eased, bringing the infection rate down is critical. But in Fenland and Peterborough, case numbers actually rose in the week to February 21.

20 areas of Cambridgeshire have recorded week-on-week increases in Covid-19 cases
20 areas of Cambridgeshire have recorded week-on-week increases in Covid-19 cases

Below, we analyse the case numbers and infection rate for every area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with the most localised data available.

It shows 20 areas recorded week-on-week rises across Cambridgeshire, as did six in Peterborough.

Overall, Cambridgeshire (excluding Peterborough) recorded a modest fall in cases of 13.5 per cent, week-on-week, with 646 cases confirmed, down 101.

This meant the county’s infection rate - 98.8 cases per 100,000 - was very narrowly below the national average.

Daily cases in Cambridgeshire from December 1 to February 26. Graph: Gov.UK
Daily cases in Cambridgeshire from December 1 to February 26. Graph: Gov.UK

There have now been 25,800 confirmed cases in Cambridgeshire since the pandemic began, with daily case data showing 403 in the five days from February 22-26.

There have been a further 30 deaths in the county within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, taking the total since the pandemic began to 749. This number rises to 833 if all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate by February 12 are taken into account.

On February 16, Addenbrooke’s had 123 Covid-19 patients in hospital, including 28 on ventilation.

England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam warned people against relaxing their guard and mixing.

He told a Downing Street briefing on Friday (February 26): “All the patients that I vaccinate… I say to them, ‘Remember, all the rules still apply to you and all of us until we’re in a much safer place’. It doesn’t change because you’ve had your first dose of vaccine.

“And so, please don’t be tempted to think, ‘Well, one home visit might be all right now the weather is getting better, going to be a nice weekend, one small gathering in your house won’t really matter’.

“So my key message tonight is look, this is all going very well but there are some worrying signs that people are relaxing, taking their foot off the brake at exactly the wrong time.”

Cambridge

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Cambridge have continued to decline, but at a slower rate than the previous week.

The city recorded 81 cases in the seven days to February 21, down 13 (13.8 per cent) on the previous week.

This put the infection rate at 64.9 cases per 100,000 people, which was below the national average.

King’s Hedges, with 10 cases, had the most cases, but this was down on 22 the previous week.

Four areas recorded an increase - Arbury (eight, up from three the previous week), Central and West Cambridge (five, up from 0-2), Cherry Hinton (six, up from 0-2) and Queen Edith’s (six, up from four).

Daily case data shows a further 53 cases in the five days from February 22-26, taking the total number confirmed in the city since the pandemic began to 5,361.

One more death within 28 days of a positive test was recorded on February 23, taking the total to 84 since the pandemic began, or 119 if all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate, up to February 12, are taken into account.

South Cambridgeshire

The welcome drop in cases in South Cambridgeshire continued in the latest weekly figures, with 70 cases recorded in the week to February 21, down 48 (40.7 per cent) on the previous seven days.

This took the infection rate to 44 cases per 100,000 - well below the UK average, and the lowest in Cambridgeshire.

However, it wasn’t all positive news. Five areas recorded week-on-week increases.

Cambourne, with 13 cases, up from eight, had the highest number in the district, with Papworth, Caxton and Fen Drayton (12, up from seven) close behind.

In Little Shelford, Foxton and Haslingfield, there were four cases, up from three, and the same was seen in Longstanton, Swavesey and Oakington. Willingham and Over had three cases, up from 0-2 last week.

Daily case data shows a further 56 cases in the five days from February 22-26, meaning the district will not record such a big percentage drop in cases in the next weekly figures.

There have been eight more coronavirus-related deaths within 28 days of a positive since February 15, taking the total to 147 since the pandemic began. If all deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate by February 12 are taken into account, this rises to 161.

East Cambridgeshire

There were 60 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in East Cambridgeshire in the seven days to February 21, down 25 (29.4 per cent) week-on-week.

This took the infection rate per 100,000 people to 66.8, which is below the national average.

More than a third of cases - 21 - were in Soham, although this was a drop from the 24 of the week before.

Only Little Downham and Sutton, with seven cases, up from five, recorded a week-on-week increase.

There has been one more Covid-19 related death within 28 days of a positive test since February 15 in the district, taking the total to 90. If all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are taken into account, there were 105 by February 12.

Huntingdonshire

The infection rate in Huntingdonshire was above the national average for the seven days to February 21 at 118 cases per 100,000.

There were 210 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the district for the period, down 22 (9.5 per cent) week-on-week.

Worst hit was Yaxley and Farcet, with 21 cases (up from 16). It was one of eight areas in the district that recorded a week-on-week rise, as our table shows.

Daily case data shows a further 114 cases in the district in the five days from February 22-26, taking the total since the pandemic began to 7,212.

There have been a further 16 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test since February 15, taking the total in Huntingdonshire since the pandemic began to 232.

If all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are taken into account, there were 240 by February 12.

Fenland

Fenland had one of the highest infection rates in the country for the week to February 21, when case numbers actually increased.

There were 225 cases, up seven (3.2 per cent) in the period, taking the infection rate to 220.9 cases per 100,000.

As our table shows, this was again driven by the infection rate in Wisbech. The Wisbech North area recorded a significant rise in cases, from 59 to 79, while in Wisbech South and Peckover, the numbers fell from 78 to 58.

Wisbech St Mary, Waldersea and Christchurch had 12 cases, down from 20.

There was also an increase in cases in March East (12, up from eight).

Daily case data shows 153 cases in the five days from February 22-25, taking the total to 4,922 since the pandemic began.

Three more deaths within 28 days of a positive test have been recorded in Fenland since February 15, taking the total to 196. If all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are taken into account, there were 208 by February 12 in Fenland.

Peterborough

Peterborough continues to have one of the highest infection rates in the country, at 264 cases per 100,000 people for the week to February 21.

Case numbers slightly increased here too, up four (0.8 per cent) to 534 in the week.

The number of infections was at double figures in every area but two - Bretton Park and Werrington, with seven each, were the least affected locations.

Six areas saw increased numbers, week-on-week, with Millfield and Bourges Boulevard recording a worrying spike of 70 cases, up from 29 the previous week - the same number as the whole of South Cambridgeshire.

There have been a further 281 cases confirmed in the five days from February 22-26, taking the total to 13,990 in Peterborough since the pandemic began.

Sixteen more deaths within 28 days of a positive test have been recorded since February 15, taking the total to 327.

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