The number of cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Derbyshire continues to increase, with all but two districts recording infections.
In the most recent set of data, up to June 2, there have been at least 62 cases of the Covid strain known as Delta, first identified in India.
This is up from at least 29 cases of the so-called Indian variant in the previous week – an increase of at least 28.
These additional 28 cases represent one in every five Delta infections (a fifth) recorded in Derbyshire in the same week (155).
The High Peak is the source of the majority of the county’s Delta variant cases, recording 42 cases to date, with surge vaccinations and testing taking place in Gamesley – thought to be the focal point of the outbreak in the county.
Meanwhile, Derby has now recorded 11 cases of the Delta variant, up from five in the previous week.
Delta variant cases in Erewash have increased from less than five – with the precise number not specified – to five.
Chesterfield, the Derbyshire Dales, North East Derbyshire and South Derbyshire have all recorded less than five Delta variant cases.
These are the first Delta cases Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire have logged.
It is not known if those in the Dales or South Derbyshire have increased, just that they remain below five.
Amber Valley and Bolsover have yet to record any Delta variant cases.
Looking at Covid-19 ases for the county overall, Derbyshire is now showing a clear but minimal increase in cases, after a strong few months of near-constant decline since January.
In the most recent week of cases, up to June 4, Derbyshire recorded 167 Covid-19 infections after reaching a low point of 121 cases in the seven days up to May 30.
This is the highest weekly number of cases since mid-April, excluding the spike in numbers caused by the Wilsthorpe School outbreak in Long Eaton in early May.
However, cases are still drastically lower than the January peak, when the county was clocking around 5,000 cases a week.
Derbyshire health chiefs have stressed that residents need to be more thorough and strict than ever in how they follow Covid-19 guidance, including two-metre social distancing, face coverings, hand sanitising and meeting outdoors.
They say the best single act residents can do is to take up their Covid vaccinations as soon as they are offered them – particularly for second doses.
The Delta variant is 40 per cent more transmissible – it spreads far more easily – and has double the chance of causing a patient to be hospitalised. It reduces the effectiveness of a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by around 30 per cent, but the reduction is slight after two doses.
Derbyshire health chiefs have described the current situation as the “race to vaccinate” to reduce the scale and impact of the Delta variant wave.
Gavin Boyle, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, has given an update on the situation regarding hospitals.
He said: “We’ve now got very few Covid-19 positive patients in the hospitals. That said we are very concerned about the new variants and there are a number of these beginning to emerge across the country.
“A few colleagues have asked me this week about relaxing some of our Infection Control measures on our sites. I know it will be disappointing to many, but I personally feel that it’s too early to do this.
“We need to keep our guard up. So, bear with us, we’ve come so far and done so much, let’s just keep going for a little while longer.”