Local Covid restrictions: the latest data on cases by local authority for England and the rest of Britain

The New Statesman is tracking the latest UK Covid-19 data using a series of key measures.

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The New Statesman has launched this page to track case rates and other key Covid-19 data on a local authority level across Britain. It will be updated weekly every Thursday as new data becomes available.

As the pandemic has progressed our access to local-level Covid data has improved. But the information comes from multiple sources, with no single unified publisher of figures for key metrics such as case numbers, hospitalisations and test positivity rates. This makes it hard for the public to gain a full picture of the data and how it relates to them.

This page seeks to bring all this data together in an accessible format that will allow readers to form a more holistic view of the current level of Covid severity in their area. Where possible, data is shown for Wales and Scotland as well as England.

The government often gives scant warning before imposing localised restrictions; Greater Manchester, for example, was placed under lockdown with just a few hours’ notice in the summer. Our trackers allow you to keep an eye on changes in the key health data, and we hope this may give you crucial extra time to prepare for harsher measures if and when they do come.

Covid severity by local authority

England’s current tier system is determined based on six key metrics:

  • Case rates among all age groups, and how this is changing
  • Case rates among those aged 60+
  • Hospitalisation levels, and how these are changing
  • Test positivity rates

You can explore these in the chart below:

 

 

Each of these metrics can tell us interesting things, but are flawed if you consider them in isolation. For instance, case rates are only robustly comparable across areas when you factor in how many tests have been conducted. Similarly, increases in case rates or hospitalisations may seem large, but if they occur from a low base the situation may not be as worrying as the trends suggest.

Considering all these measures together can give you a more complete picture of how severe an outbreak is in a given area. We’ve blended all these metrics together to form a “Severity Score” for each local authority.

 

Case rate trends by local authority

The government has now instituted two nationwide lockdowns to curb the effects of the pandemic, but the spread of the virus has always shown variation in different parts of the country: areas in northern England experienced higher rates of transmission over the summer, with London’s second wave only gaining momentum in October.

Use the table below to get a longer-term view of the data and analyse recent trends in case rates across every local authority in England, Wales and Scotland.

 

 

Covid spread by local neighbourhood

In the UK, local lockdown measures have focused on whole local authorities or regions. But there continues to be significant variation in case rates between the neighbourhoods within those regions.

In Leeds, for example, the villages of Boston Spa and Bramham never had case rates above 200 per 100,000 people, even when a local lockdown was in force and rates were exceeding 500 cases per 100,000 people in the city centre.

Our hyperlocal animated map below allows you to get a picture of how the epidemic has progressed in your neighbourhood. You can enter your postcode and click or tap the “play” button to see this animate over time.

 

 

A note on the data

The figures featured on this page are drawn from a variety of official sources. Data on case rates comes mainly from Public Health England, but where Scottish and Welsh figures are shown the sources are NHS Scotland and NHS Wales respectively. Positivity rates are taken from NHS Test and Trace’s weekly data report.

Hospitalisation figures are taken from NHS England and have been mapped from hospital trusts to local authorities using a method developed by Colin Angus, a statistician from the University of Sheffield.

This page will be updated every Thursday morning as new data is released and will display the latest available figures at the time of publishing.

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