The latest R reproduction rate for coronavirus in the West Midlands – including Stoke-on-Trent and the rest of Staffordshire – has been revealed today – Friday August 21.
Current estimates suggest the reproduction rate for the virus in the region is between 0.8 and 1.0.
The R-rate shows the average number of people who become infected by a person with Covid-19.
The reproduction number (R value) of coronavirus in the UK has risen to between 0.9-1.1, figures from the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) show.
The numbers suggest there is a risk that the overall coronavirus epidemic in the UK is growing, Government scientists say.
The latest growth rate for the whole of the UK is between minus 3 per cent to plus 1 per cent, a slight change from between minus 4 per cent to minus 1 per cent last week.
The growth rate of coronavirus transmission reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day.
In England it is currently between 0.9 and 1.0.
Since the start of the pandemic there have been 1,622 lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Stoke-on-Trent – as of the Thursday afternoon daily update.
In surrounding areas of the county there have been 814 confirmed cases in Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough, 392 in the Staffordshire Moorlands and 601 in Stafford Borough – with 3,995 across Staffordshire as a whole since the start of the pandemic.
In the wider West Midlands the city of Birmingham has been added to a watch list as ‘an area of enhanced support’.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said “some people have not been strict enough” with coronavirus measures.
The Conservative mayor said in a statement on Twitter: “People across the region have made an enormous sacrifice since the start of lockdown to keep the virus at bay, but the virus is now returning and recent efforts to counter that have been insufficient.
“It is evident that some people have not been strict enough when it comes to keeping up the basics of social distancing, hand washing and wearing a face covering, nor following the guidelines on avoiding mass gatherings.
“This has to change immediately and I would ask every single citizen, both across Birmingham and the West Midlands, to redouble their efforts.
“We are in an extremely challenging situation and every individual has a part to play.”
Leader of Birmingham City Council, councillor Ian Ward said the watch list should be a “wake-up call for everyone”.
He said in a statement: “As we have previously said, this announcement was expected following rising coronavirus case numbers here in Birmingham.
“We are working with our partners locally and at a government level to shape plans and secure the resources such as extra testing that we need that will get the infection rate down.
“We will make announcements as soon as possible about what this means for the people of the city.
“If our previous warnings to keep doing the basics haven’t been enough, this has to be the wake-up call for everyone.
“Wash your hands, wear face coverings wherever possible, keep 2m apart from others and get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms.”