Posted: 11.09.20 at 16:43 by Nick Hudson
NEW Covid-19 case rates have put Atherstone and North Warwickshire on top of smaller neighbouring local authorities in a weekly league table just as bordering ‘big brother’ councils are banned from mixing in new lockdown measures announced this afternoon.
As the town awaits the return of a mobile testing unit this weekend , some 1.6 million in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull face tightening restrictions from next Tuesday in a decision taken by political and police leaders in their areas.
The news is compounded as a study by Imperial College London claims England’s R rate – calculated by the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average – is now doubling every seven to eight days and has reached 1.7. If the reproduction number is higher than one, then the number of cases snowball.
North Warwickshire has seen its rate of coronavirus infection rise SIXFOLD in the week up to September 6 from 3.1 cases per 100,000 population to 18.4 – the actual number rising from two to 12 in the seven-day period.
It sits in 125th place in the weekly Office for National Statistics’ table of more than 300 local authorities but ahead of Nuneaton and Bedworth, North West Leicestershire, Hinckley and Bosworth, South Derbyshire, Tamworth and Lichfield. To put it into perspective, the rate of coronavirus infection in Birmingham has risen from 32 per 100,000 to 85.4 in a week.
The West Midlands capital is now second only to Bolton which had 377 new cases in the same period at the equivalent of 131.1 per 100,000 people. That rate has nearly double from 72 on August 30.
North Warwickshire’s Atherstone-based council leader David Wright has reassured the local community that the imminent arrival of the MTU on the Woolpack Way car parks on Sunday and Monday forms part of a “response plan to help us prepare should we need to undertake a local lockdown”.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a raft of changes to lockdown measures which will affect Atherstone and the rest of the country from the beginning of next week in a policy dubbed the ‘rule of six’ – which could also include Covid-secure 'marshals' on our streets.
North Warwickshire has recorded the county’s first death since the beginning of August which finds its fatality rate per capita of 104.2 per 100,000 people puts the borough in 13th place in a local authority league table which is topped by Hertsmere in Hertfordshire at 130.6 per 100,000. Neighbouring Nuneaton and Bedworth is inside the Top Ten in ninth spot with a rate of 111.6.
A fortnight on from that news and Atherstone and North Warwickshire have now recorded 373 coronavirus cases since the pandemic started in March – up 15 from 358 on August 28 – at a rate of 571.5 per 100,000 population.
The Warwickshire total for people testing positive has risen by 133 in the same time frame from 2,734 to 2,867 confirmed cases – up 31 in the last 48 hours.
On a UK footing, a further 2,919 lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported, following totals of 2,659, 2,420, 2,948 and 2,988 on the previous four days – the largest totals since May.
The overall total for the UK now stands at 358,138 with recorded deaths up 14 in the last 24 hours at 41,608.