Stoke-on-Trent has remained on the government’s Covid-19 watchlist for the fourth week in a row.
The city is still classed as an ‘area of concern’ for coronavirus on the updated list, with increased infection rate of 27.4 cases per 100,000 population for the week ending September 13 – up from 25 in the previous week.
But Stoke-on-Trent is now ranked 58th out of the 58 areas on the expanded list, and the ciy’s weekly infection rate is lower than that for England as a whole, which is 33.8 cases per 100,000.
Bolton, with an infection rate of 212.7 cases per 100,000, is still at the top of the watchlist, and 44 areas of England now subject to government intervention measures, such as a ban on households mixing. New restrictions have today been announced for areas in the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire.
Stoke-on-Trent is one of 11 areas of concern, which are subject to government monitoring but no additional restrictions. Three other areas are listed as needing ‘enhanced support’.
Public Health England’s weekly coronavirus survillance report states: “Case detections in England increased from 15,231 in week 36 to 15,693 in week 37. Case rates remain highest in North West and Yorkshire and Humber.
“Positivity rates have increased across most age groups particularly in the 85-plus year olds tested through Pillar 2 and those in the 15-44 years in Pillar 1. Positivity by regions remains highest in the North. At a local authority level, incidence continued to be highest in Bolton. Case rates continued to be highest in the 20-29 year age group.
“The overall number of acute respiratory infection incidents reported to PHE Health Protection Teams increased notably from 246 in the previous week to 729 in week 37. The highest increases were noted in the number of incidents in care homes, educational and workplace settings in comparison to the previous week. Around half of the incidents in educational settings were confirmed as Covid-19 outbreaks.
“There were small increases in emergency department attendances with a Covid-19-like diagnosis. Increases continued to be seen in hospital admission rates for confirmed Covid-19 at national level, particularly in the 85-plus year olds by age group and in the North West and Midlands by region.
“Covid-19 deaths were stable in week 37 and no excess mortality was observed overall in week 36. “
When Stoke-on-Trent was first named on the watchlist a month ago, a large number of cases were linked to the outbreak in Normacot.
But the latest data shows that there are now Covid-19 hotspots throghout the city.
Due to the shortages hitting the national system, Stoke-on-Trent City Council organised 200 coronavirus tests at Fenton Manor on Monday and Tuesday, although these would not yet be included in PHE’s surveillance data. Council chiefs have announced that the local testing will continue next week.