The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the North West of England now stands at 50,973.
New figures published today (August 21) by Public Health England and analysed by LancsLive shows the total for Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cumbria and Cheshire has risen by 267 in the last 24 hours.
It comes as restrictions on households meeting and attendances at weddings and funerals have been tightened in some parts of the north of England, but a feared local lockdown has been avoided.
People in parts of Pendle and Blackburn, as well as Oldham in Greater Manchester, will be told not to socialise with anyone outside their household from midnight tonight.
Restrictions in Rossendale, Darwen and Wigan will be lifted from Wednesday, August 26, bringing them into line with the rest of England.
The data is based on people being tested both through ‘Pillar 1’ – in hospitals – and Pillar 2 – drive-through test centres and swabs sent by post.
Total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus by North West borough as of Friday, August 21:
- Bolton 2,194
- Bury 1,506
- Cheshire East 2,341
- Cheshire West and Chester 2,106
- Cumbria 2,994
- Halton 733
- Knowsley 1,067
- Liverpool 2,760
- Manchester 3,968
- Oldham 2,719
- Rochdale 2,142
- Salford 1,706
- Sefton 1,640
- St Helens 1,262
- Stockport 1,937
- Tameside 1,820
- Trafford 1,589
- Warrington 1,394
- Wigan 2,270
- Wirral 2,112
The coronavirus R rate is above the crucial value of 1 across the UK, the country’s top scientists say.
Four regions in England have seen a slight increase in the vital measure since last week – while every range is at or above 1.
Data released today (August 21) by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R across the UK is now between 0.9 and 1.1.
This is an increase from the range of between 0.8 and 1.0 one week ago.
The growth rate of coronavirus transmission, which reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, has also changed slightly across the UK since last week, with early indications the value may be increasing.
The latest growth rate for the whole of the UK is between minus 3% to plus 1%, a slight change from between minus 4% to minus 1% last week.
The growth rate means the number of new infections is somewhere between shrinking by 3% and growing by 1% every day.
The most likely value is towards the middle of the range, experts say.
Scientists say there have been indications these values may be increasing, with estimated ranges rising slightly from previous publications.
The R number represents the number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.
In England, the R is between 0.9 and 1.0, and the growth rate is minus 3% to zero.
Recent changes in transmission are not yet fully reflected in the estimates because the data used to calculate R and growth rate reflect the situation from a few weeks ago.
It is also important to recognise the figures are estimates and there is a high degree of uncertainty with them, the experts say.
A time delay between initial infection and the need for hospital care usually means it may take between two to three weeks for the changes in the spread of Covid-19 to be reflected in the estimates.
But models that use Covid-19 testing data, which have less of a time delay, indicate higher values for R in England, the Government Office for Science statement said.
It added: “For this reason, Sage does not have confidence that R is currently below 1.0 in England.
“We would expect to see this change in transmission reflected in the R and growth rate published over the next few weeks as we gain more certainty of what is currently happening.”
The scientists caution estimates of R and growth rate per day are less reliable and less useful in determining the state of the epidemic when disease incidence is low, or where there is significant variability in the population, for example during local outbreaks.
They say when this is the case, estimates of R and growth rate become insufficiently robust to inform policy decisions.
Both are average measures and will smooth over localised outbreaks or over short periods of time.
In the North West, where a number of places have been forced into tougher restrictions, the R value range has increased from 0.8 – 1.1 last week to 0.9 – 1.1 today.
The South West, London and South East have also seen slight increases in their R rates.
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