Covid cases have risen in some parts of Devon, ending weeks of gradual falls in infections.
Ollie Heptinstall, local democracy reporter www.radioexe.co.uk
In the week to Thursday 23 September, infecitons increased by 20 per cent in both the Devon County Council area and Plymouth, but fell slightly in Torbay.
Devon’s number of cases per 100,000 people now stands at 258, while the respective figures for Torquay and Plymouth are 275 and 319. By comparison, the UK average is now 351.
Whilst that means at ‘top tier’ level, all three parts of Devon are below the national average, it masks the picture at district council level. Of the county’s eight district areas, South Hams recorded the biggest rise of 75 per cent, putting the area’s infection rate above the national average at 378 cases per 100,000.
Teignbridge and West Devon also had increases of around 35 per cent, but their infection rates remain below the UK-wide figure. East Devon mirrored the county with cases here going up by a fifth.
Elsewhere, Torridge and Mid Devon registered the only falls in Devon, and even these were modest drops of 13 and five per cent respectively. Mid Devon’s infection rate of 169 is now the lowest in the county and around half that of the national average.
Last week, Devon’s director of public health said there had been an increase in infections in educational settings, which was being replicated across the country. Secondary school and college students are being instructed to wear face coverings in communal areas for a further two weeks.
However, Steve Brown added there is unlikely to be an extension to the current covid enhanced response area for Devon and Cornwall, which ends this Friday [1 October].
Prior to this update there had been a steady drop in infections, leading to a slight reduction in the number of people being treated for covid in Devon’s hospitals. That number is again down on last week – by 31.
Latest figures for Tuesday 21 September show 97 covid patients in the county’s hospitals, 41 of which are at Derriford in Plymouth, 28 at the RD&E, 16 in Torbay and 12 in North Devon. Of the total number of patients, ten are on mechanical ventilation beds.
Fourteen more people died in the county within 28 days of testing positive for covid in the latest complete weekly period (up to Wednesday 22 September). Eleven were in the Devon County Council area, two in Plymouth and one in Torbay.
A total of 1,210 people in Devon (including Plymouth and Torbay) have died within 28 days of a positive test since the pandemic began.
Government figures for vaccinations now include people aged 16 and over.
The number of people who have received at least one dose of a vaccine is now 87 per cent in the Devon County Council area, 86 per cent in Torbay and 84 per cent in Plymouth.
The proportion of people who are now fully vaccinated with both jabs is now 82 per cent in Devon, 79 per cent in Torbay and 77 per cent in Plymouth.