Sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in England
Written by on 9 October 2020
The number of new COVID-19 cases in England have “increased rapidly”, according to latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics.
There were an average of 17,200 new cases per day in private households between 25 September and 1 October – compared with 12,600 new cases per day the previous week from 18-24 September.
The ONS said there has been a “marked increase” in the rate of new infections during the last six weeks, now at its highest level since the survey began in May.
The figures do not include people staying in other settings such as hospitals and care homes.
And there are clear differences between the regions, with the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber worst affected and have all seen steep increases in recent weeks.
Other regions except for southeast England (outside London) have experienced smaller rise in infection rates, the ONS said.
The latest data comes amid reports that new restrictions will be imposed next week, with the country expected to be carved into three different lockdown tiers.
Downing Street said on Friday that the government “won’t hesitate to act” to tackle rising coronavirus cases.
Are more lockdown measures inevitable?
A Number 10 spokesman said: “We have been clear that we are seeing cases rise across the country, especially in the North East and North West.
“And as we have been clear throughout the pandemic, we will continue to keep all that data under review and won’t hesitate to act in order to protect communities and save lives.”
The ONS said the highest current rates of infection was among older teenagers and young adults – from school year 12 through to age 24 – where “rates have grown very rapidly in the most recent weeks”.
The second highest rates are among secondary school children – school years seven to 11.
There have been increases across other age groups, the ONS said, but “to a much lesser extent”.
‘Hospitality is 30% of the infection rate’
In Wales, an estimated 6,100 people in private households had COVID-19 between 25 September and 1 October – the equivalent of around one in 500 people.
The ONS said while infections had risen in Wales during the last month-and-a-half, the trend may now be levelling off.
However, it urged caution at the results due to a relatively small number of tests within the survey sample.
For the first time the ONS gave an estimate for Northern Ireland, with one in 500 people in private households estimated to have had COVID-19 in the two weeks from 18 September to 1 October.