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201119 | Cornwall likely to join Coronavirus 'hotspot' list once national lockdown ends

Cornwall likely to join Coronavirus 'hotspot' list once national lockdown ends

Study by Imperial College London projects Cornwall's R number to be more than 1.0

This map shows how likely each local authority area is to be over 100 weekly cases per 100,000 in the week ending December 6
This map shows how likely each local authority area is to be over 100 weekly cases per 100,000 in the week ending December 6.
(Image: Imperial College London)


Cornwall has an 89 per cent probability of reaching 100 weekly cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people once lockdown ends, according to a study by Imperial College London.

The study, undertaken by specialists in infectious disease analysis and maths, defines a Covid-19 “hotspot” as a local authority area with a rate of more than 50 weekly cases per 100,000.

Imperial estimates that Cornwall’s weekly cases will be between 150.37 and 206.6 per 100,000 people in the week ending December 6 - shortly after lockdown ends.

The rate for Cornwall in the week ending November 13 was 86.2, with several schools across the Duchy forced to close after staff and students tested positive for the virus.

Imperial projects the R number - which roughly means how efficiently the virus reproduces - to remain at its current rate in Cornwall of 1.2 - 1.3.

The researchers created an interactive map showing which places in the UK are most likely to be hotspots based on the data.

This map shows how likely each local authority area is to be over 100 weekly cases per 100,000 in the week ending December 6.
This map shows how likely each local authority area is to be over 100 weekly cases per 100,000 in the week ending December 6. (Image: Imperial College London)

According to the map, Cornwall’s local authority area - anywhere covered by Cornwall Council - joins nearly 300 others which have a greater than 80 per cent chance of being a hotspot by the end of the first post-lockdown week. That's most local authorities in the UK.

Cornwall has a 34 per cent chance of reaching 200, and a seven per cent chance of being at 300 weekly cases per 100,000 people.

Imperial's projections for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's Covid-19 infection rate.
Imperial's projections for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's Covid-19 infection rate. (Image: Imperial College London)

Recent Coronavirus cluster data for Cornwall showed areas of East Cornwall with weekly infection rates per 100,000 people reaching as high as 1,027 - in the case of Kingsand, Antony and Maryfield.

However, the Duchy is by far not the highest - not even in the South West: North Devon, North Somerset, and West Somerset all have an 80 per cent or higher probability of seeing more than 300 weekly cases per 100,000.

These areas join large parts of the densely-populated South East, Midlands and North East of England - the latter of which was placed into a tier three local lockdown ahead of the national one which started in November.



In England, Hull, Swale, Hartlepool, East Lindsey, Dudley and Stoke-on-Trent are predicted to have some of the highest infection rates, according to Imperial. They are followed by Kirklees, Oadby and Wigston, Bradford, Rochdale, Leicester and Thanet.

If England's lockdown ends on December 2 and the country shifts back to a tiered system, those local authorities will be at risk of being placed in the category with the toughest restrictions.

Before the lockdown Cornwall was in tier one, the tier with the least strict restrictions. While it is unclear what the threshold for entering tier two is, Imperial’s infection map suggests Cornwall is at least not in danger of entering tier three at the start of December.

 

 

 

This map shows how likely each local authority area is to be over 100 weekly cases per 100,000 in the week ending December 6
This map shows how likely each local authority area is to be over 100 weekly cases per 100,000 in the week ending December 6.
Imperial's projections for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's Covid-19 infection rate.