Over 75 per cent increase in covid infections in West Devon

Wednesday 23rd March 2022 10:32 am
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Latest covid figures by authority
Latest covid figures by authority (Local democracy reporter )

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Covid cases continue to rise sharply across Devon, with almost 15,000 infections recorded in the latest figures.

Government data for the week to last Thursday [17 March] shows the rates in Plymouth and the Devon County Council area both rose by 60 per cent, while there was a 69 per cent increase in Torbay.

It means Devon remains well above the national covid rate, despite infections going up across the board. The UK average is 851 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 1,219 in the county council area, 1,165 in Plymouth and 1,283 in Torbay.

At a district level, the biggest increase was in Torridge where cases more than doubled. North Devon, West Devon and the South Hams recorded rises of over 75 per cent.

North Devon is now the most prevalent area for the virus in Devon at 1,353 cases per 100,000, however the figures are similar across all districts – each has a rate of over 1,000.

The rise in cases has continued since all covid restrictions ended in England at the end of February, including the legal requirement to self-isolate with the virus. Free mass testing will also stop from 1 April.

However, Devon County Council leader John Hart is still urging people to be careful and protect others.

Speaking to the BBC’s Politics South West, he said: “I would urge everybody – if you’re ill, stay home, because I think you should. I think you shouldn’t have the opportunity of spreading it even though it may be less virulent.

“It’s less virulent for some people [but] other people are ill with it, still ill with it, so I think you have to be careful.”

HOSPITALISATIONS

As of the most recent government data from Tuesday 15 March, there were 277 patients with covid in Devon’s hospitals, an increase of 60 from a week ago. The biggest number – 111 – are being treated in Plymouth.

Elsewhere, 89 patients were at the RD&E in Exeter, 40 in Torbay, 33 in North Devon and four in Devon Partnership mental health trust sites. Of the total, four people were in intensive care with covid.

However, late last week NHS Devon revealed the hospital figure had since risen to 292, higher than at any other point during the pandemic, with a further 37 patients awaiting test results.

DEATHS

Seventeen more people died in the county within 28 days of testing positive for covid in the latest complete weekly period (up to Wednesday 16 March). Eleven were in the Devon County Council area, five in Torbay and one in Plymouth.

A total of 1,680 people in Devon (including Plymouth and Torbay) have died within 28 days of a positive test since the pandemic began (as of 20 March).

VACCINATIONS

The number of people aged over 12 who have received their booster (third) covid vaccination is 72 per cent in the Devon County Council area, 66 per cent in Torbay and 61 per cent in Plymouth.

Take-up for at least one dose of a vaccine is 89 per cent in the Devon County Council area, 86 per cent in Torbay and 85 per cent in Plymouth.

The proportion of people who have had two jabs is 85 per cent in Devon, 82 per cent in Torbay and 80 per cent in Plymouth.

The national rates are 92, 86 and 67 per cent respectively.

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