Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire: Cases spike in and around Cambridge and infection rates double in some areas ahead of Christmas
Cambridgeshire has witnessed a significant rise in cases through December, and with the government relaxing restrictions for five days over Christmas, public health leaders are concerned that it could see a major spike in cases.
Below we look in detail at the figures for every neighbourhood in the county and reveal the concerning trends, which include record rates of infection for a number of areas.
As of December 18, Cambridgeshire has had 9,044 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began, and 767 of those occurred in the week of December 6-13, up from 472 the previous week. That lifted the infection rate from 72.2 cases per 100,000 to 117.4.
Two more deaths within 28 days of a positive test were confirmed on December 18, taking the grim total to 344. There had been 443 deaths as of December 4 in which Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The situation is significantly worse in Peterborough, where spiralling infection rates and 21 deaths in a month have led to it being placed under the new Tier 4 restrictions, from December 20, while Cambridgeshire remains in Tier 2 until Boxing Day, when it too will move to Tier 4.
But on Friday (December 18), Cambridge City Council leader Cllr Lewis Herbert and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s director of public health, Dr Liz Robin, issued a warning that the county could be heading for Tier 3 too if people mix over Christmas. New government rules means bubbles of three households in non-Tier 4 areas can be formed only on Christmas Day now.
The government has today confirmed that the new variant of Covid-19 is able to spread more quickly, although there is no evidence yet that it leads to worse disease or could evade the vaccine that is currently being rolled out.
Covid-19 cases and deaths in Cambridge
Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Cambridge, despite thousands of students leaving the city at the end of term.
The infection rate for the week to December 13 was 112.2 cases per 100,000 - up from 75.3 the previous week. This was still below the national average, but heading in the wrong direction. There were 140 cases in the seven days to December 13 across the city, up 46 on the previous week.
Every area of the city had cases, but Coleridge, with 20, along with Trumpington and Queen Edith’s, with 17, were the worst affected.
The latest daily case data reveals the upward trend is continuing, with 153 cases confirmed in the five days from December 14-18, taking the total to 2,246.
One death within 28 days of a positive test was reported on December 6, taking the total to 48, or 84 if all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate are included.
Covid-19 cases and deaths in South Cambridgeshire
South Cambridgeshire is witnessing its highest number of cases since the pandemic began.
After doubling in a week, they have continued to rise fast.
There were 101 cases in the week to December 6 but this jumped to 203 in the seven days December 13, meaning the infection rate per 100,000 people has leapt from 63.5 to 127.6 - lower than the national average but higher than Cambridge.
There were high numbers of cases in Milton, Fen Ditton and Quy, with 28, and in Fulbourn and Teversham, with 26. Cambourne recorded 24, which may reflect outbreaks at the village college, while Histon, Impington and Orchard Park had 20. These were record numbers for all of these areas.
Daily case data indicates the situation is only getting worse - the four individual days when the highest number of confirmed cases have been recorded in the district at any point in the pandemic were December 11 (42 cases), December 16 (52), December 14 (53) and December 15 (62).
There were 224 confirmed cases in the five days from December 14-18, taking the total in the district since the pandemic began to 1,877.
There have been 66 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate, 47 of which occurred within 28 days of a positive test, three of which have been recorded in December.
Covid-19 cases and deaths in East Cambridgeshire
Confirmed Covid-19 case numbers have risen more steeply in East Cambridgeshire during December than at any point in the pandemic.
There were 108 in the week to December 13, compared to 71 the previous week, taking the infection rate per 100,000 people up from 79 to 120.2.
Particularly badly hit was Burwell, with 34 cases in the week to December 14, while Swaffham and Bottisham had 17 cases and Dullingham and Cheveley had 16.
While the infection rate for the week was still below the national average, the trend has continued upwards since, with 90 cases in the five days from December 14-18.
But on a positive note, there have been no coronavirus-related deaths this month in the district. There have been 54 overall, with 36 of those within 28 days of a positive test.
Covid-19 cases and deaths in Huntingdonshire
With 169 cases in the week to December 13, up from 82 the previous week, the infection rate has doubled in Huntingdonshire, rising from 46.1 to 95, although this was still well below the national average and the lowest in Cambridgeshire.
However, with 156 cases in the five days from December 14-18, the infection rate is continuing to head in the wrong direction.
Worst affected in the week of December 6-13 was Little Paxton, Love's Farm and Great Gransden, with 18 cases, while Huntingdon Sapley and Oxmoor had 15 and Ramsey had 14.
The second coronavirus-related death of the month was recorded on December 10, taking the total in the district since the pandemic began to 144, with 120 of those occurring within 28 days of a positive test.
Covid-19 cases and deaths in Fenland
With 147 cases in the week to December 13 - which was 23 more than the previous week - cases are on the rise in Fenland too.
The infection rate rose from 121.7 to 144.3 cases per 100,000 people.
Worst affected were Doddington, Wimblington and Manea, with 24 cases, while Wisbech South and Peckover recorded 22, as did Whittlesey.
A further 115 cases have been recorded in Fenland from December 14-18, taking the total number since the pandemic began to 1,631.
There were four deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate in the week ending December 4, taking the total to 95. Another was recorded on December 18, within 28 days of a positive test, taking this total to 93.
Covid-19 cases and deaths in Peterborough
Peterborough enters the new Tier 4 restrictions as of December 20, having entered Tier 3 a day earlier.
This reflects an alarming infection rate in the city which had led to 21 deaths this month by December 18, all recorded within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, taking the total to 144. There had been 145 deaths by December 4 in which Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The infection rate for the week to December 13 was 311.5 cases per 100,000 people, up from 209.1 the previous week.
Some 630 cases were recorded from December 6-13, up from 423 the previous week, including 61 in Central Park, 59 in Peterborough Central, 54 in Hampton Vale and 52 in Millfield and Bourges Boulevard.
Latest daily data makes for concerning reading, with 455 cases in the five days from December 14-18, taking the total to 5,900 since the pandemic began.
Covid-19 cases by age
This heat map of Covid-19 cases shows how older age groups were particularly affected in the first wave of the virus in the spring.
The second wave in autumn took off in young people primarily, but has now spread through the age groups, with some older people being affected again.
Darker colours represent higher numbers of cases.