Devon covid rates soaring

Infection rates across Devon have soared, with every council area in the county reporting a significant increase in new cases. 

Joe Ives, local democracy reporter  www.radioexe.co.uk 

Government figures for the week up to Sunday, 14 November show a total of 6,886 cases across Devon, 33 per cent (1,721) more than in the previous week.

Infection levels are extremely high in some parts of the county and every district has a higher infection rate than the UK average. The average infection rate across Devon is now at 558 per 100,000 of the population. In comparison, the national average sits at 403 per 100,000.

In Torridge, infections have more than doubled within the space of a week. The district’s new 602 infections – 304 more than last week – represent a rise of 102 per cent. The infection rate in Torridge is now at 876 per 100,000 people – more than double the national average.

It’s a similar story for neighbouring North Devon. The district recorded 708 new cases, 183 (35 per cent) more than the previous week. The area’s infection rate now sits at 721 per 100,000, almost 80 per cent higher than the national average.

Overall, the Devon County Council area, which excludes Plymouth and Torbay, saw 4,789 new infections, 1,238 (35 per cent) more than the previous week. The infection rate across its seven districts is now 591 per 100,000 of the population.

Torbay’s infections shot up by 38 per cent, recording 808 new cases, 223 more than in the previous week. The 38 per cent rise takes the infection rate in the Bay to 593 per 100,000 of the population.

Cases rose sharply in Plymouth, too. The city saw 1,289 new infections, 258 (25 per cent) more than in the previous week. The infection rate in the area is now 490 per 100,000.

Despite rising infections in Devon and across the country, prime minister Boris Johnson this week said it was still too early to move to ‘plan b’ and reintroduce restrictions such as mask mandates and working from home orders.

Hospitalisations

As was reported on Tuesday, the latest figures (Tuesday, 2 November) show 127 covid patients in the county’s hospitals – a fall of two on last week’s total. However, this number is likely to rise in the coming weeks as the impact of the rapid increase of infections reaches the county’s hospitals.

There are 49 patients at Derriford in Plymouth, 44 at the RD&E in Exeter, 21 in Torbay and 13. Of the total number of patients, 13 are on mechanical ventilation beds.

Deaths

Deaths have increased, with four more recorded than in the previous week.

Eighteen people died within 28 days of receiving a positive covid test across Devon in the most recent complete seven-day period (up to Sunday, 14 November).

Eleven of the deaths occurred in the Devon County Council area. Meanwhile, four deaths were recorded in Torbay. A further four occurred in Plymouth.

Across Devon, a total of 1,323 people have now died within 28 days of a positive covid test.

Vaccinations

Eighty-six per cent of people aged 12 and above have had their first dose of a vaccine in the Devon County Council area, which excludes Plymouth and Torbay, with 80 per cent receiving both doses.

In Plymouth, 83 per cent have had one dose, while 75 per cent have had both.

In Torbay, 84 per cent have received one dose, while 78 per cent have had both jabs.

This means that vaccination rates in Devon remain slightly behind the rest of the UK. Across the country, 88 per cent of people aged 12 and over have had one dose, while 80 per cent have had both jabs.

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