After nearly two weeks since the lifting of all restrictions in England the new delta variant has confounded the experts who predicted a rapid rise in new infections, a heavy load on hospitals and a large increase in covid-related deaths. The reality was different.
But the month started badly and in the first 18 days – on the eve of all restrictions being lifted – 10,036 new cases were recorded across the county, an average of more than 550 a day.
In Basingstoke and Deane 1,672 new cases were recorded, in East Hampshire there were 738 and in Winchester the number was 851. However, the infection rate hit its peak in Hampshire just three days later on 21 July when the seven-day number was 6053 and a rate of 437.8 per 100,000 of population. The number has steadily declined since.
The same pattern was followed in the districts most relevant to the Candover Valley, namely Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire and Winchester and in the smaller MSOAs neighbouring the Candovers. The local area of Old Basing and the Candovers hit its peak on 14 July with 30 active cases and a rate of 388 per 100k. Alresford, Four Marks and Overton came a few days later. But all have shown a steady decline in new infections in the past week.
The surprising reversal in the coronavirus upward trend was also reflected in the lower hospital admissions than in the January peak and fewer deaths were recorded since the beginning of June. There have been 25 deaths linked to coronavirus recorded across the whole county in the last two months – none of them in Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire or Winchester.
Vaccinations have also continued apace throughout the county and extrapolating from the numbers for England it points to nearly 70% of the county population having had a first dose and more than 55% having their second.
See the full details here - Covid – 31-July 2021