COVID infections almost four times higher in Yorkshire than South West as regional divide deepens

·3 min read
The number of COVID cases in England has been falling for weeks. (PA)
The number of COVID cases in England has been falling for weeks. (PA)

Large regional differences in COVID infection rates have opened up across England as the country gears up for the latest round of lockdown lifting.

There are almost four times as many cases per 100,000 people in Yorkshire than there are in the South West, according to Public Health England.

Yorkshire has the highest infection rate in the country at 41.7 per 100,000 people, according to the latest data which runs up to the week ending 2 May.

(PHE)
Yorkshire remains the place with the most COVID infections in England. (PHE)

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The South West, which has regularly seen the lowest cases numbers throughout the course of the pandemic, has 11.9 cases per 100,000.

The gap between Yorkshire and the South West has increased week on week, with the difference only being three times as high in the week ending 25 April rather than four.

The rest of the country is hovering between 17 and 25 cases per 100,000. 

The figures for the whole of England are:

  • South West: 11.9 cases per 100,000

  • South East: 15.1 cases per 100,000

  • East of England: 17.1 cases per 100,000

  • London: 17.3 cases per 100,000

  • West Midlands: 18.5 cases per 100,000

  • North East: 21.6 cases per 100,000

  • East Midlands: 22.7 cases per 100,000

  • North West: 24.9 cases per 100,000

  • Yorkshire and Humber: 41.7 cases per 100,000

PHE said case rates per 100,000 have fallen in all age groups apart from those aged five to nine and continue to be highest in those aged between 10 to 19.

The lowest case rates were among people aged over 80 at just under five per 100,000.

PHE also said the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 continued to fall and was now just above one per 100,000 down from a peak of 37 in mid-January.

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There were 2,613 new cases across all of the UK on Thursday, with numbers down almost 10% when compared to last week.

The UK also reported 13 new deaths on Thursday, with death figures down by almost 50% when compared to last week.

England is nearing its next round of lockdown lifting scheduled for 17 May, which will see the hospitality sector allow people indoors and the potential return of holidays abroad.

The government has said it is confident the next round of lockdown easing can go ahead when planned and has so far resisted calls from businesses to lift measures even sooner.

Lifting lockdown depends heavily on the success of the vaccine rollout, with almost two-thirds of Brits having now received their first dose of the jab.

Over half a million doses of the vaccines administered on Wednesday.

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