One part of Worcestershire is now in the top 10 areas with the highest coronavirus rates in the country.
Redditch now has the joint 10th highest rate in England, with 175.9 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days leading to February 26.
It comes despite the Covid-19 rate continuing to fall there, down from 224 the week before, along with all other six Worcestershire districts as rates are falling faster elsewhere.
The town’s rate contrasts with a nearby neighbour which has seen its rate drop to below 100 cases per 100,00 people. You can see a full list of the area’s Covid-19 rates below.
Redditch has been hit by transmission in the workplace and is said to have a lot of key workers that have to leave their homes to do their job.
This in turn leads to family members bringing the virus home and transmission taking place within households, driving higher rates in the borough.
Worcestershire’s Director of Public Health, Dr Kathryn Cobain, is encouraging workers to pay key attention to washing their hands, wearing face coverings and keeping two metres apart from others ‘at all times where possible’.
Dr Cobain said: “We know that many people in the Redditch area are key workers and have to leave their homes to do vital roles to support their communities.
“Unfortunately, we also know this makes them vulnerable to picking up the virus at work and spreading it to family members at home. One in three people who test positive, won’t have symptoms and will be unaware this is happening
“This is why we are urging people, to keep themselves and their loved ones safe by keeping to the rules. It is so important to remember to regularly wash your hands, wear a face covering and keep two metres apart at all times where possible
“At home regular cleaning of surfaces and good ventilation, like opening a window, can also help.
“We need everyone to stay safe and help us get the numbers down. We are all hopeful about the easing of restrictions, but this is dependant on having low rates of Covid-19. “Help us get these numbers down so that we can stick to the timeline and enjoy fewer restrictions with the rest of the country.”
Elsewhere in Worcestershire rates are falling, although the drop in Wyre Forest is slowing.
The district, which included Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley, now has a rate of 132.3 cases per 100,000 to February 26, down slightly from 144.1 cases a week before.
Bromsgrove has now dropped to below 90 cases per 100,000 people at 88.1 per 100k to February 26, a fall from 100.1 cases per 100k a week earlier.
The other three county areas all have rates in the low 100s.
Malvern Hills has 105.5 cases per 100,000 to February 26, down from 132.2 per 100k to February 19, Wychavon, which includes Evesham, Droitwich and Pershore, has 105.1 cases per 100k, a fall from 128.3 per 100k and Worcester has 102.7 cases per 100k, from 118.6 cases per 100k.
The figures are based on tests carried out in Public Health England laboratories and NHS hospitals (pillar one – for those with a clinical need and health and social care workers. And swab tests in the wider community (pillar two processed in other labs). They show the number of positive Covid-19 cases scaled to represent the number of cases per 100,000 people.
Data for the most recent four days (February 27-March 2) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.
Of the 315 local areas in England, 22 ( seven per cent) have seen a rise in case rates, 290 (92 per cent) have seen a fall and three are unchanged.
Corby in Northamptonshire continues to have the highest rate in England, with 166 new cases recorded in the seven days to February 26 – the equivalent of 229.9 cases per 100,000 people. This is down from 346.2 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to February 19.
Leicester has the second highest rate, down from 256.6 to 207.8, with 736 new cases. North West Leicestershire is in third place, down slightly from 220.1 to 198.8, with 206 new cases.
The list has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on March 2 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.
Here are the top 10 rates in England and rates for the rest of the West Midlands. From left to right, it reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to February 26; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to February 26; rate of new cases in the seven days to February 19; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to February 19.
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Top 10 coronavirus rates in England:
1. Corby, 229.9, (166), 346.2, (250);
2. Leicester, 207.8, (736), 256.6, (909);
3. North West Leicestershire, 198.8, (206), 220.1, (228);
4. Fenland, 195.4, (199), 211.1, (215);
5. Peterborough, 194.8, (394), 272.4, (551);
6. South Holland, 192.6, (183), 182.1, (173);
7. Sandwell, 183.6, (603), 256.4, (842);
8. Boston, 179.6, (126), 179.6, (126);
9. Preston, 178.9, (256), 231.3, (331);
10. Redditch, 175.9, (150), 224.0, (191);
10. Ashfield, 175.9, (225), 235.3, (301).
Rest of West Midlands:
Tamworth, 172.1, (132), 233.4, (179)
North Warwickshire, 170.1, (111), 239.0, (156)
East Staffordshire, 165.3, (198), 198.7, (238)
Walsall, 136.6, (390), 187.8, (536)
Stoke-on-Trent, 133.0, (341), 145.9, (374)
Wyre Forest, 132.3, (134), 144.1, (146)
Birmingham, 130.1, (1486), 176.6, (2017)
Dudley, 127.8, (411), 172.3, (554)
Wolverhampton, 122.3, (322), 187.2, (493)
Nuneaton and Bedworth, 121.6, (158), 176.3, (229)
Rugby, 118.4, (129), 157.9, (172)
Cannock Chase, 115.1, (116), 172.7, (174)
Malvern Hills, 105.5, (83), 132.2, (104)
Wychavon, 105.1, (136), 128.3, (166)
Worcester, 102.7, (104), 118.6, (120)
South Staffordshire, 102.3, (115), 149.4, (168)
Lichfield, 94.5, (99), 148.0, (155)
Shropshire, 92.8, (300), 130.9, (423)
Stafford, 91.1, (125), 101.3, (139)
Bromsgrove, 88.1, (88), 100.1, (100)
Newcastle-under-Lyme, 88.1, (114), 105.1, (136)
Solihull, 83.2, (180), 136.8, (296)
Warwick, 82.1, (118), 99.5, (143)
Staffordshire Moorlands, 72.1, (71), 88.4, (87)
Stratford-on-Avon, 70.7, (92), 94.5, (123)
Herefordshire, 63.8, (123), 100.6, (194)