Devon covid on way back up

After dropping over the past few weeks, covid cases have once again risen in all parts of Devon.

Joe Ives, local democracy reporter

In the latest complete seven day period (to Sunday, 23 January) the county recorded 12,745 new cases, 2,290 more than in the previous week. The 22 per cent rise takes the infection rate across Devon to 1,120 per 100,000 of the population, higher than the national average of 954.

The Devon County Council, which excludes Plymouth and Torbay, recorded the largest spike, with a 29 per cent (+1,816) rise. Its 8,176 new cases take the area’s infection rate to 1,009 per 100,000.

Torbay continues to have the highest infection rate in the county, with 1,270 cases per 100,000 of the population. The latest figures record 1,730 infections in the Bay; 181 (12 per cent) more than the previous week.

Plymouth’s 2,839 new cases are 279 (12 per cent) more than the previous week. The infection rate is 1,080 per 100,000 of the population. 

The spike is a setback for the city’s health services. Speaking recently Kevin Baber, chief operating officer of Plymouth Hospitals said the number of people waiting for treatment at Derriford is 40,000; up 10,000 since the beginning of the pandemic.

More than 3,000 people have been waiting over a year and 461 patients, primarily needing elected orthopaedics or spinal surgery, who have waited over two years.

Mr Baber said the pandemic has taken a toll on NHS workers in Plymouth, noting “an increasing number of staff who are off sick with stress, anxiety, depression and covid PTSD.”


As of the most recent data (from Wednesday 25 January) 240 patients with covid were in Devon’s hospitals. The majority (188) are in Derriford. 

Twenty-seven people are being cared for at the RD&E in Exeter, while a further 25 are being treated in Torbay Hospital.

Three patients in Devon are in mechanical ventilation beds. 


Nineteen people died within 28 days of receiving a positive covid test across Devon in the most recent complete seven-day period (to Sunday 23 January), six more than last week. 

Ten people died in the Devon County Council area, which excludes Plymouth and Torbay. Five deaths were recorded in Torbay and four in Plymouth.

Across Devon, a total of 1,518 people have now died within 28 days of a positive covid test.


Eighty-eight 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 83 per cent receiving both doses. Seventy per cent have now had their ‘booster’ dose.

In Plymouth, 85 per cent have had one dose, while 79 per cent have had both. Fifty-nine per cent have had the booster.

In Torbay, 86 per cent have received one dose, while 8q per cent have had both jabs. Sixty-five per cent have had their third vaccine.

The national rates are 91, 84 and 65 per cent respectively.

Devon Covid dashboard shows cases rising in all age groups except 60 to 79 year olds (cases to 25 Jan)