Weekly stats show 92 new Covid cases confirmed in East Devon – with ‘clusters’ in ten parts of the district

Weekly government figures show 92 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in East Devon – with ‘clusters’ identified in ten areas of the district.

Half of the positive tests relate to specimen dates in the past seven days; the rest go back to September.

Eleven new cases had been confirmed across the district in the previous week.

A total of 397 Covid-19 cases have now been recorded in East Devon, where the infection rate is 271.4 for every 100,000 people.

In Exeter, 603 new cases have been confirmed.

A total of 1,369 cases have been confirmed in Devon and Cornwall in the last week – but only 54 per cent relate to tests from the last seven days.

That is compared to 381 in the previous week.

Statistics are from both ‘pillar one’ NHS data and ‘pillar two’ data from commercial partners.

‘Clusters’ in ten East Devon areas

Ten ‘clusters’ – where three or more cases have been confirmed – have been identified in East Devon in:

  • Cranbrook, Broadclyst and Stoke Canon (14 cases);
  • Clyst, Exton and Lympstone (ten);
  • Exmouth Brixington (five);
  • Feniton and Whimple (four);
  • Exmouth Town (four);
  • Ottery St Mary and West Hill (four);
  • Honiton North and East (three);
  • Newton Poppleford, Otterton and Woodbury (three);
  • Sidbury, Offwell and Beer (three);
  • Axminster (three).

The ‘clusters’ data includes lab-confirmed positive cases of coronavirus reported by October 7, with specimen dates between September 29 and October 5.

Figures are based on Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA) in England – broken down into zones of around 7,200 people.

Thirteen ‘clusters’ have been identified in Exeter in:

  • Pennsylvania and University (301 cases);
  • Central Exeter (86);
  • St James Park and Hoopern (48);
  • Mincinglake and Beacon Heath (14);
  • Heavitree West and Polsloe (11);
  • Middlemoor and Sowton (eight);
  • St Thomas East (seven);
  • St Leonard’s (seven);
  • Alphington and Marsh Barton (seven);
  • Pinhoe and Whipton North (six);
  • Wonford and St Loye’s (six);
  • St Thomas West (five);
  • Exwick and Foxhayes (three).

Sharp rise linked to database glitch

The large rise in confirmed cases is partly down to the Public Health England database issues that were widely-reported last weekend.

This meant that, nationally, thousands of cases were not added to figures when they should have happened been.

Backdated cases have therefore been added to the latest statistics.

Of the 1,369 new cases in Devon and Cornwall, 92 were in East Devon and 603 were in Exeter.

There were 32 in Mid Devon, 38 in North Devon, 144 in Plymouth, 28 in the South Hams, 69 in Teignbridge, 85 in Torbay, 18 in Torridge, and 23 in West Devon.

Cornwall had 237 new cases.

Specimen dates

Of the 1,369 total across both counties, 745 of the cases have a specimen date between October 2 and 8.

The other 624 cases date back into September.

Of the 745 of the cases with a specimen date between October 2 and 8, 45 were in East Devon and 310 in Exeter.

There were 17 in Mid Devon, 23 in North Devon, 15 in the South Hams, 45 in Teignbridge, 76 in Plymouth, 45 in Torbay, eight in Torridge, and 15 in West Devon.

The remaining 134 were in Cornwall.

Total number of Covid cases

A total of 397 Covid-19 cases have now been recorded in East Devon, where the infection rate is 271.4 for every 100,000 people.

The number for Exeter is 1,063, with the city’s infection rate 808.9.

A total of 491,428 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in England. The national infection rate is 873.1 per 100,000 people.

Elsewhere in the county, Torridge has had a total of 94 positive cases, West Devon 110, the South Hams 179, North Devon 206, Mid Devon 281, Teignbridge 479, Torbay 462, and Plymouth 1,092.

There has been a total of 1,634 cases in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

‘We cannot be complacent’

Devon County Council leader Cllr John Hart.

Devon County Council leader Cllr John Hart.

Devon County Council leader John Hart said much focus has ‘rightly’ been placed on Exeter, but added: “I want to emphasise that across the rest of Devon we have been keeping levels of coronavirus low.

“Cases are steady and that is largely as a result of the common-sense of the people of this county. And I want to commend them for that.

“But we cannot be complacent and it behoves all of us to make a renewed effort to follow the national guidance.”

Cllr Hart, who also chairs the Team Devon Local Outbreak Engagement Board, added: “Clearly, though, Exeter University is our biggest worry. Everything there is being kept under intense scrutiny and we’re holding daily incident management meetings.

“But I would say to the residents of Exeter, particularly in places like St James, Newtown, St David’s and Pennsylvania, that so far our statistics do not show any evidence of the cases amongst students being spread into the wider community.”

He added: “None of us can be complacent but I can assure you there is a great deal of effort going into containing this outbreak and together we will beat it.”

Health chiefs are urging residents to:

  • Keep a safe distance from others, two metres is preferable;
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water and use hand sanitiser where it is provided;
  • Wear a face covering when you’re indoors in public spaces and on public transport.

Anyone with symptoms – a high temperature, new and continuous cough, or a change in your sense of smell or taste – should self-isolate straight away and then get a test.

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