Newcastle has highest Covid rate in England amid surge in cases in North East

City sees rate jump to 664 cases per 100,000 people - although hospitalisations are still low

Peter Stubley
Monday 05 July 2021 19:17
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UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

Newcastle-upon-Tyne has the highest rate of new cases of Covid-19 in England, according to the latest figures.

The city recorded a total of 2,012 new cases of Covid-19 in the seven days to 30 June - the equivalent of 664.4 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 382.1 one week earlier, and is the highest rate for Newcastle since October, when the return of university students prompted a sharp spike in infections.

Six of the top 10 highest rates in England are now in north-east England, meaning the region has overtaken the North West as England’s coronavirus hotspot.

They include South Tyneside (604.1), Gateshead (565.2), County Durham (551.2) and North Tyneside (547.3), who are all currently seeing their highest rate of new cases since comparable figures began last summer, when mass testing was first introduced across the UK.

The surge in cases in the North East is starting to be reflected in the latest data for hospital admissions, with 39 people in hospital in mechanical ventilation beds across the combined region of north-east England and Yorkshire on 2 July - up from 26 one week earlier and the highest number since 20 April.

However this is still well below the region’s second-wave peak of 340 patients on ventilators.

Most cases on Tyneside were among largely unvaccinated under 25s, said the city’s deputy director of public health, Lorna Smith.

Ms Smith said: “Thanks to the early impacts of the vaccination programme, this is not resulting in a huge increase in hospitalisations compared to previous waves of infections.”

A handful of areas in other parts of the nation are also seeing a sharp jump in cases.

Tamworth in Staffordshire currently has the second highest rate in England, for example, standing at 657.1 cases per 100,000 people, up week on week from 202.1.

Oxford has the fifth highest rate at 589.7, up from 114.8.

Further down the list, north-east Lincolnshire, in 12th place, has seen its rate jump from 260.1 to 518.9.

Of the 315 local authority areas in England, 312 saw a week-on-week rise in rates in the seven days to 30 June, with only three seeing a fall.

Overall, England’s national rate for Covid-19 cases now stands at 223.2 per 100,000 people - the highest since the start of February.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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