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Surge in Derbyshire Covid cases as High Peak remains above national average

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 1:40pm

By Eddie Bisknell, Local Democracy Reporter @EddieBisk

The number of Covid-19 cases in Derbyshire has accelerated rapidly over the past month, pushing the county back to infection levels last seen in late February.

In the most recent week of data, there have been 1,339 Covid-19 cases recorded in Derbyshire, up from 121 in the final week of May – a tenfold increase.

What began as a small increase has led to a large-scale surge in new infections which risks pushing the county back towards the January peak if it does not slow over the next month – when lockdown is due to be fully eased.

The number of Covid-19 inpatients in Derbyshire and Burton’s hospitals has increased from one patient with the virus two weeks ago, to 10.

There are now seven Covid-19 patients in Royal Derby Hospital, three at Queen’s Hospital in Burton and none in Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Meanwhile there is one patient with the virus in Royal Derby’s intensive care unit and one patient in the ICU at Queen’s.

This demonstrates a small influx but a notable change in the county’s Covid status, with increasing cases leading to hospitalisation. This is still a long way off the January pandemic peak, when hospitals in the county saw more than 700 Covid patients.

However, case levels in the county are now back to where they were in late February, when the county clocked 1,384 cases.

Nearly two months before that, at the start of January, the county hit a pandemic peak of more than 5,000 cases in a week.

The surge in cases is being pushed by the rise of the Delta variant of Covid-19, which is far more transmissible – spreads faster – and more likely to cause hospitalisation in patients.

Due to the widespread vaccination of Derbyshire residents, the proportion of hospitalised patients to community infections in the county appears to be far lower than during previous waves.

While case levels are now the same as they were in late February, the level of hospitalised patients is just a fraction.

In late February, there were 287 Covid-19 patients in our hospitals, with 128 in Royal Derby, 91 in Chesterfield Royal and 68 in Queen’s.
Of these, 30 patients with the virus were in intensive care: 12 in Derby, 10 in Chesterfield and eight in Burton.

Despite all of this, Dean Wallace, Derbyshire’s public health director, warns that it would not take much of an increase in Covid activity in our hospitals to cause issues for the local NHS, which is trying to wade through a huge backlog in operations and treatment.

A spokesperson for the Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Whilst it’s encouraging that we currently have no patients with a positive diagnosis of Covid-19, we know that the virus is still out there and we must remember that it has taken a lot of hard work, both within this hospital and out in the community to get to this point.

“To ensure we keep those numbers down, it’s up to all of us to do our bit by continuing to follow all government guidelines.

“There are safety measures still in place at this hospital, implemented some time ago, that we must abide by including the use of face masks, hand sanitisers, one way systems and social distancing.

“This virus remains a danger to health, we have a joint responsibility to stop it from spreading and it is our continued combined efforts that will allow us to further recover and give us the opportunity to enjoy the summer that we’ve been hoping for.”

Five out of the nine Derbyshire districts currently have rates of Covid-19 above the national local area average of 102 cases per 100,000.

The rate of cases per 100,000 people for each district are:

Amber Valley – 93

Bolsover – 98

Chesterfield – 109

Derby – 124

Derbyshire Dales – 58

Erewash – 95

High Peak – 133

North East Derbyshire – 109

South Derbyshire – 105

This is how many Covid-19 cases there have been in each Derbyshire district in the week to June 27:

Amber Valley – 134

Bolsover – 91

Chesterfield – 128

Derby – 368

Derbyshire Dales – 59

Erewash – 147

High Peak – 141

North East Derbyshire – 130

South Derbyshire – 141

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