Thirty Covid-related deaths have been recorded in East Devon in a fortnight – with case ‘clusters’ of the virus identified in all but one of the district’s wards.
Devon was today (Wednesday, December 30) moved up to Tier 3 of the Government’s pandemic restrictions.
County health chiefs say a rise in cases among all age groups meant the move was ‘inevitable’.
Seaton is the only part of East Devon where a coronavirus ‘cluster’ has not currently been identified.
Nineteen wards – spanning Exmouth, Honiton, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Ottery St Mary, Axminster and Cranbrook – currently have three or more Covid infections.
The highest numbers are in Cranbrook, Broadclyst and Stoke Canon (22 cases), Exmouth Littleham (21), and Ottery St Mary and West Hill (18).
Exmouth’s five wards currently have a combined total of 61 cases.
A total of 2,392 Covid-19 cases have now been confirmed in East Devon, compared to 3,323 in Exeter.
The Government’s latest weekly statistics show 200 new cases were confirmed in the district between December 18 and 25.
Another 13 fatalities due to coronavirus have been recorded in East Devon in the latest weekly Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.
Figures published on Tuesday (December 29) show six of these deaths were in care homes, six in hospital, and one ‘elsewhere’.
The numbers relate to deaths which occurred in the week of December 12–18, but were registered up to December 26.
Seventeen coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the district between December 5 – 11; a dozen of them in hospital, four in care homes, and one ‘elsewhere’.
Across Devon between December 12 -18, there were four Covid-related deaths in Exeter; two each in Torbay and Torridge; five in Teignbridge, six in both North Devon and Mid Devon.
None were logged in Plymouth, the South Hams and West Devon.
Five deaths due to coronavirus were recorded in Cornwall.
In total, 97 Covid-19 deaths have now been registered in East Devon; 50 of them in hospital, 40 in care homes, five at home, and two ‘elsewhere’.
The total for Exeter is 66; with 37 of them in hospital, 26 in care homes, two at home, and one ‘elsewhere’.
Some 877 coronavirus-related deaths have been registered across Devon and Cornwall; 515 in hospitals, 293 in care homes, 62 at home, one in a hospice, and six ‘elsewhere’.
Of these, 135 have been in Plymouth; 106 in Torbay; 55 in Teignbridge; 50 in North Devon; 33 in Torridge; 37 in Mid Devon; 25 in West Devon; and 24 in the South Hams
A total of 249 deaths due to the virus have been registered in Cornwall.
The ONS figures for Devon and Cornwall include people who have died at home, in hospital, in care homes, hospices, ‘other’ communal places, or ‘elsewhere’.
They are broken down by the local authority area in which the deaths were registered.
Cases and ‘clusters’
Nineteen ‘clusters’ – where three or more Covid cases have been confirmed – have been identified in East Devon:
- Cranbrook, Broadclyst and Stoke Canon (22 cases);
- Exmouth Littleham (21);
- Ottery St Mary and West Hill (18);
- Feniton and Whimple (16);
- Exmouth Halsdon (14);
- Axminster (13);
- Dunkeswell, Upottery and Stockland (12);
- Honiton South and West (12);
- Exmouth Withycombe Raleigh (11);
- Honiton North and East (ten);
- Clyst, Exton and Lympstone (nine);
- Exmouth Town (eight);
- Exmouth Brixington (seven);
- Sidmouth Sidford (six);
- Sidmouth Town (five);
- Budleigh Salterton (five);
- Kilmington, Colyton and Uplyme (four);
- Sidbury, Offwell and Beer (three);
- Newton Poppleford, Otterton and Woodbury (three).
The ‘clusters’ data, last updated this afternoon (Wednesday, December 30), is based on a rolling rate of new cases by specimen date ending on December 25.
Figures are based on Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA) in England – broken down into zones of around 7,200 people.
‘Clusters’ have also been identified in all of Exeter’s 15 wards:
- St Leonard’s (18 cases);
- Wonford and St Loye’s (17);
- Central Exeter (17);
- St Thomas East (15);
- Pinhoe and Whipton North (14);
- Heavitree East and Whipton South (13);
- St Thomas West (12);
- Alphington and Marsh Barton (11);
- Pennsylvania and University (11);
- St James Park and Hoopern (11);
- Middlemoor and Sowton (11);
- Countess Wear and Topsham (ten);
- Exwick and Foxhayes (ten);
- Heavitree West and Polsloe (seven);
- Mincinglake and Beacon Heath (seven).
Devon moved to Tier 3
East Devon and Exeter are to be moved into Tier 3 of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions.
All of Devon will be subject to the rules from Thursday, December 31, after Whitehall reviewed statuses of areas around the country.
The county had previously been in Tier 2.
It means that:
- Residents must not meet socially indoors with anybody who you do not live with, or you are not in a support bubble with;
- You must not meet socially outdoors (in a private garden or at most outdoor public venues) with anybody who you do not live with, or you are not in a support bubble with.
There are some legal exemptions to both of the above. If you are meeting with friends or family, you must follow the guidance on social distancing and letting in fresh air and limit how many different people you see socially over any period of time.
Extra advice is available for people who are identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable.
- Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafés, restaurants and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. Food or drink bought via these must not be consumed on the premises, including beer gardens;
- Hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses, must close (again, there are exceptions to this rule);
- Most tourist venues and entertainment must close, but some outdoor venues are permitted to remain open.
Steve Brown, director of public health in Devon, said: “Cases in Devon, while we have been in Tier 2, have been rising in all age groups, as per the national trend.
“Without further intervention with tighter restrictions, we are likely to have seen cases continuing to rise and therefore I feel this announcement was inevitable.
“The decision has been made to place us into Tier 3 and what is important now is we do everything we can to adhere to these tighter restrictions to help bring down cases in Devon
“We will have heard the welcome news today that a second vaccine has been approved for use from early January, but we cannot sit back and relax on the strength of that.
“Please keep up the effort, and remember the key messages, to social distance, wear your face coverings when in a public space where social distancing is not possible, and wash your hands properly and regularly.”
East Devon MP Simon Jupp said: “Devon will move into Tier 3 tomorrow.
“Case numbers continue to rise across the county and our NHS remains under strain.
“There is hope and optimism following independent approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which will be rolled-out from next week.
“This is very welcome news, but we can’t let our guard down.”