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Covid-19: Number of new cases falls in Cornwall and Devon

Covid-19: Number of new cases falls in Cornwall and Devon

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:49am 15th June 2020.

Written by Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporter

The number of new coronavirus cases recorded across Devon and Cornwall has fallen in the past week as maps show the region continues to have among the fewest number of new infections.

There were 17 new positive coronavirus cases recorded between June 6th and June 12th, down from 20, 13, 44 and 71 in previous weeks.

Of the new cases, nine occurred in Cornwall, with five in Plymouth, and one each in Torbay, Exeter and the South Hams. No new cases were recorded in the previous seven days in East Devon, Teignbridge, Mid Devon, North Devon, Torridge and West Devon.

In Devon alone, the number of new cases halved in the previous seven days, with eight recorded this week compared to 16 last week.

Across the two counties, a total of 2,002 positive cases have now been recorded, hitting the 2,000 milestone today. The milestone of 1,900 cases was reached on May 14, with 1,800 on May 6, showing the slowdown of new cases being confirmed despite the increase in testing capacity.

Maps revealed by the ONS show the weekly rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people tested show that Devon and Cornwall and are among the lowest of anywhere in England, with less than four cases per 100,000 people tested.

The figures come from the Government coronavirus data dashboard which is updated daily.

ONS coronavirus maps

It comes as experts who are advising the Government during the coronavirus pandemic say the location of where the R Rate of infection for the disease is highest is in the South West, with a range of 0.8-1.1.

But last week the estimated R Rate for the South West was at 1, so the figures suggest that the R Rate in the region has fallen in the previous seven days.

The region also stretches from the Isles of Scilly to Dorset, and up to Gloucestershire, with Director of Public Health for Public Health Devon, Dr Virginia Pearson, saying that the R Rate alone cannot determine the rate of growth of coronavirus and does not accurately reflect Devon’s local data on the ground and should be treated with a little caution.

She said: “The South West R value spans from Isles of Scilly to Bristol, and while there have been hotspots in other parts of the region that increase the R value, Devon’s figures have remained low.”

Torridge remains the district in England with the lowest positive case infection rate of anywhere, with the South Hams 6th, West Devon 7th, North Devon 8th, East Devon 10th, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 13th, Teignbridge 16th, Mid Devon 26th, Exeter 28th, Plymouth 33rd and Torbay 55th out of the 316 English council districts. All but Cornwall have either remained static or risen in the table in the previous week.

Torridge is also the area with the third lowest number of cases, with only Rutland – the small historic county in England, and the City of London, an administrative region covering the Square Mile and populated by just 9,000 people – having had fewer cases.

In total, Torridge has had just 36 positive cases, with 53 in West Devon, 82 in the South Hams, 92 in North Devon, 102 in Mid Devon, 141 in East Devon, 148 in Teignbridge, 170 in Exeter, 223 in Torbay, 367 in Plymouth and 588 in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

ONS coronavirus maps

The COVID-19 cases are identified by taking specimens from people and sending these specimens to laboratories around the UK to be tested. If the test is positive, this is a referred to as a lab-confirmed case.

Confirmed positive cases are matched to ONS geographical area codes using the home postcode of the person tested.

The data is now shown by the date the specimen was taken from the person being tested and while it gives a useful analysis of the progression of cases over time, it does mean that the latest days’ figures may be incomplete.

Cases received from laboratories by 12:30am are included in the counts published that day. While there may have been new cases of coronavirus confirmed or people having tested positive, those test results either yet to reach PHE for adding to the dataset or were not received in time for the latest daily figures to be published.

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