Crediton currently 'worst hit' part of Devon for coronavirus cases

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Sunday 18th April 2021 9:30 pm
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THE number of new coronavirus cases confirmed across Devon and Cornwall in the last week has fallen again to its lowest level since early September, however there is some concern about the number of cases in Crediton.

Until Friday, a total of 163 new cases were confirmed across the two counties in the last week – the lowest total since the week ending September 12 – with the total since the start of the pandemic at 47,461.

Infection rates in Cornwall at an upper tier authority level are the second lowest anywhere in England – with only East Sussex lower – and at 7.5/100,000, the lowest they have been since September 12.

Devon is fourth in the list with rates at 8.5/100,000 – equivalent to the rates on September 20, with Plymouth’s rate of 9.5/100,000 the lowest since August 27.

Government statistics show that 163 new cases have been confirmed across the region in the past seven days in both Pillar One data from tests carried out by the NHS and Pillar Two data from commercial partners, compared to 176 new cases confirmed last week.

Of the 163 new cases confirmed since April 9, 54 were in Cornwall, with eight in East Devon, 14 in Exeter, 18 in Mid Devon, four in North Devon, 18 in Plymouth, four in South Hams, 18 in Teignbridge, 14 in Torbay, six in Torridge and five in West Devon.

The majority of the Mid Devon cases (13 to April 12 and down one to 12 on April 13) were in Crediton according to government coronavirus figures.

The 163 new cases compares to the 176 new cases confirmed between April 3 and 9, of which, 53 were in Cornwall, with 10 in East Devon, 12 in Exeter, 12 in Mid Devon, three in North Devon, 32 in Plymouth, nine in South Hams, 11 in Teignbridge, 26 in Torbay, three in Torridge and five in West Devon.

While the number of cases confirmed in Cornwall, Exeter, Mid Devon, Teignbridge and Torridge has risen compared to the previous week, the rise in all areas is less than one extra case a day.

For specimens from between April 5 and April 12, North Devon has the second lowest infection rate in England, only behind Rother, with East Devon, the South Hams, Torridge, Cornwall, and Plymouth having rates below 10/100,000, with Mid Devon’s rate of 18.2/100,000, the highest for the region.

Infection rates are highest in the 0-19s across Devon, although at a lower rate than when schools went back in March, with the 20-39s in Torbay and Plymouth having the highest infection rates, and the 40-59s in Cornwall.

At a district level, infection rates in East Devon, Mid Devon and South Hams are highest in 0-19s, in Teignbridge in the 20-39s, in Exeter, North Devon and Torridge in the 40-59s, and in West Devon in the over 80s (one case of an over 95).

No cases in 0-19s in North Devon and Torridge, in 20-39s in East Devon, North Devon, Torridge and West Devon, in 40-59s in South Hams, in 60-79s in North Devon and West Devon, and over 80s in Plymouth, Cornwall, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, and Torridge were recorded in specimens from April 4-10.

North Devon District Hospital also remains unchanged with zero patients – a run of 10 straight days now – while Torbay Hospital saw one patient admitted on Monday, April 13, breaking a run of 13 successive days whereby the hospital had no Covid-19 patients.

The number of patients in mechanical ventilation beds across the two counties is two, with both patients being at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

The figures show the amount of patients in hospital following a positive Covid-19 test who are currently occupying a bed.

But not every patient would necessarily have been admitted to hospital due to Covid-19, with a number of patients either contracting the virus inside the hospital, or being admitted for unrelated reasons but subsequently testing positive asymptotically when given routine tests.

In the last week, there has been two deaths in Devon and Cornwall hospitals of patients within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, both in Exeter. The last death in Derriford occurred on March 19, in Torbay on March 21, in North Devon on February 26 and in Cornwall on April 4.

CREDITON CLUSTER

In terms of the latest MSOA (Middle Larger Super Output Areas) cluster maps, that cover the period of specimen dates between April 5 and 11, there are 216 areas of Devon and Cornwall with between 0-2 cases, up from 211 as of last Friday, with only 14 areas reporting three or more cases.

The MSOA areas with clusters of three or more cases were Crediton (10, which increased to 13 on April 12 and down one to 12 on April 13), Watcombe (five), Torquay Central and Middlemoor and Sowton (four), and Ernesettle, St Budeaux, Shiphay and the Willows, Crowan, Wendron and Stithians, St Breward, Tredethy and Lanivet, Mincinglake and Beacon Heath, Exwick and Foxhayes, Ivybridge, Chudleigh and Bovey Tracey, and Kingsteignton (three).

No area of East Devon, North Devon, Torridge or West Devon saw three or more cases reported.

It comes as the latest figures show that two thirds of Devon’s adults have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and nearly one in seven adults in Devon have had a second dose, with the position very similar in Cornwall.

The statistics, which provide the position as of April 11, show that there have been 1,186,586 vaccines delivered in the two counties, with 966,579 of them being the first dose.

In Devon, 654,261 people have had their first dose, with 144,591 of them having had a second dose, while in Cornwall, 312,318 people have had their first dose, with 75,416 a second dose.

It means that in Devon, 65.5 per cent of adults have had at least one vaccine dose, with 14.5 per cent of adults having had a second dose, while in Cornwall, 67.4 per cent of adults have had one dose, with 16.3 per cent having had their second dose as well. These figures will have risen in the most recent days.

The latest week saw the highest number of second doses ever administered in a seven day period, although the number of first doses fell to its lowest level since the rollout began.

Of the adult population, 67.4 per cent in Cornwall, 72.5 per cent in East Devon, 52.8 per cent in Exeter, 82.2 per cent in the Isles of Scilly, 68.1 per cent in Mid Devon, 70 per cent in North Devon, 61.3 per cent in Plymouth, 70.8 per cent in South Hams, 70.7 per cent in Teignbridge, 72.8 per cent in Torbay, 71.5 per cent in Torridge, and 72.5 per cent in West Devon, have had one dose. These figures are as of April 11 and so will have risen in recent days.

The Covid-19 cases are identified by taking specimens from people and sending these specimens to laboratories around the UK to be tested. If the test is positive, this is a referred to as a lab-confirmed case.

Confirmed positive cases are matched to Office for National Statistics geographical area codes using the home postcode of the person tested.

Cases received from laboratories by 12.30am are included in the counts published that day. While there may have been new cases of coronavirus confirmed or people having tested positive, those test results are either yet to reach Public Health England for adding to the dataset or were not received in time for the latest daily figures to be published.

• The Crediton MSOA rate is 100-199 (the seven day rate as expressed per 100,000 population and calculated by dividing the seven day count by the area population and multiplying by 100,000).

• Simon Chant, public health specialist, added that infection levels were similar to early September and as further restrictions ease, they will carefully be studying and monitoring the effects and expecting rates to stay at similar levels for the next few weeks.

However, he said that there was no MSOA area in Devon where there was anything particular to note at a community level, with the cluster in the Crediton area the "worst hit" part of Devon at present.

Rapid coronavirus tests now available across Devon

• Every adult in Devon is being encouraged to take a rapid, lateral flow test for coronavirus twice a week, and now they can do so in a variety of ways including through testing centres, workplaces, pharmacies, or home delivery.

The tests are fast and convenient, and results are usually available within the hour.

Rapid lateral flow tests are for people who show no symptoms of coronavirus – the new and continuous cough, high temperature, or change to their usual sense of taste or smell.  People with these symptoms should immediately self-isolate and arrange a PCR test via the NHS: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test .

• For the latest coronavirus advice in Devon visit devon.cc/covid-19: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/ .

Daniel Clark and Alan Quick

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