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COVID-19 cases are continuing to crop up around the world, and now lockdown restrictions have been relaxed in the UK, the Government is keeping a close eye on any potential spikes. The Government and local councils have the power to enforce local lockdowns if necessary, with a watchlist of areas where coronavirus cases are growing.
Since the pandemic began at the start of this year, there have been 299,547 cases in England, 21,397 in Scotland, 18,381 in Wales and 7,727 in Northern Ireland.
Important figures which are being closely monitored include the R-Rate and the infection rate per 100,000 people.
If these figures begin to increase, this is when the Government decides to either place an area on the watchlist or introduce lockdown restrictions.
This is known as the ‘whack a mole’ strategy, a term coined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson when Leicester first entered local lockdown at the end of June.
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How many COVID-19 cases are in my area?
With schools back, the Government watchlist being updated weekly and the possibility of local lockdowns – many may be wondering how to check COVID-19 cases in their local area.
If you want to find out how many cases there are in your area, pop your postcode into the search bar below.
This will bring up a range of data, including how many cases there are near you, as well as allowing you to search for other areas.
Where are coronavirus areas of concern?
Each week Public Health England publishes a watchlist of areas of concern.
These are based on an assessment of incidence rates, and other indicators such as trends in testing, healthcare activity and deaths.
At the time of writing, 38 areas across England are classed as areas of concern, placing them on the Government’s watchlist.
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The areas of concern are
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Great Yarmouth
- King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
- South Broadland
- North Norfolk
- South Tyneside
The latest to be added to the list were Leeds, South Tyneside, Corby, Middlesbrough and Kettering.
While this doesn’t mean all of these areas are at risk of imminent lockdown, some measures may be implemented to reduce the spread of the virus.
For example in Middlesbrough, residents have been urged to not mix with more than one other household when indoors at one time and follow all Government guidelines on social distancing and mask wearing.
Middlesbrough Council estimates the current infection rate in the town is around 39 per 100,000 people.
To put this in context, the Government has been imposing quarantine restrictions for travellers returning from countries with an infection rate of more than 20 per 100,000 people.
In Leeds, the latest seven-day infection rate in the city has risen to 32.5 cases per 100,000 people.
Leeds City Council has warned unless this figure begins to decline, measures may have to be introduced.
In Scotland, the highest daily increase since May was recorded yesterday.
Figures for Sunday showed a total of 208 cases were confirmed in 24 hours, compared to 141 cases on Saturday.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will hold a coronavirus briefing at 12.15pm today.
Commenting on Scotland’s increase, Ms Sturgeon said: “While this reflects the substantial opening up of the economy, it reminds us of the need to deploy counter measures.”
She added the “first line of defence” is to “take greater care on face coverings, hygiene and distance”.
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