Just eight confirmed this week
The number of new coronavirus cases recorded across Devon has fallen in the week to 12 June, as maps show the region continues to have among the fewest number of new infections.
Eight positive cases are confirmed in Devon: five in Plymouth, and one each in Torbay, Exeter and the South Hams. That's half the number from the previous weeks. Moreover, no new cases were recorded in the previous seven days in East Devon, Teignbridge, Mid Devon, North Devon, Torridge and West Devon.
Across Devon and Cornwall, a total of 2,002 positive cases have now been recorded, hitting the 2,000 milestone on Friday 12 June. By 14 May 1,900 cases had been confirmed, up from 1,800 on May 6, showing the slowdown of new cases being confirmed despite the increase in testing capacity.
Maps revealed by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday show the weekly rate of covid-19 cases per 100,000 people tested show that Devon and Cornwall and are among the lowest of anywhere in England, with fewer than four cases per 100,000 people tested.
West Devon has now gone a more than full month without a new case being confirmed with the last case in the district being 8 May, while Torridge and North Devon have also gone more than three weeks since their last new cases were confirmed, with Teignbridge a day short of going two weeks without a new case.
The figures come from the Government coronavirus data dashboard which is updated daily at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/#category=ltlas&map=rate
Experts advising the government say the location of where the R Rate of infection for the disease is highest is in the South West, with a range between 0.8 and 1.1. But last week the estimated R Rate for the South West was at 1.
The region also stretches from the Isles of Scilly to Dorset, and up to Gloucestershire, with Director of Public Health for Public Health Devon, Dr Virginia Pearson, saying that the R Rate alone cannot determine the rate of growth of coronavirus and does not accurately reflect Devon’s local data on the ground and should be treated with a little caution.
She said: “The South West R value spans from Isles of Scilly to Bristol, and while there have been hotspots in other parts of the region that increase the R value, Devon’s figures have remained low.”
Torridge remains the district in England with the lowest positive case infection rate of anywhere, with the South Hams 6th, West Devon 7th, North Devon 8th, East Devon 10th, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 13th, Teignbridge 16th, Mid Devon 26th, Exeter 28th, Plymouth 33rd and Torbay 55th out of the 316 English council districts. All but Cornwall have either remained static or risen in the table in the previous week.
Torridge is also the area with the third lowest number of cases, with only Rutland – the small historic county in England, and the City of London, an administrative region covering the Square Mile and populated by just 9,000 people – having had fewer cases.
In total, Torridge has had just 36 positive cases, with 53 in West Devon, 82 in the South Hams, 92 in North Devon, 102 in Mid Devon, 141 in East Devon, 148 in Teignbridge, 170 in Exeter, 223 in Torbay, 367 in Plymouth and 588 in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
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.
The data is now shown by the date the specimen was taken from the person being tested and while it gives a useful analysis of the progression of cases over time, it does mean that the latest days’ figures may be incomplete.