Explained: What do the latest figures tell us about Havering’s likely Covid tier?
- Credit: Archant
Coronavirus infection rates are continuing to rise in Havering, suggesting in will be put in a higher Covid tier.
Prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that each area of England will be put into one of three tiers, after lockdown ends of December 2, with each tier having a different level of restrictions.
At the moment we do not know the size of each tier. It is thought likely that the country will be broken into larger areas, rather than each small council area being put into a different tier.
A decision will be made on Thursday, but what will determine which tier Havering goes into?
The government has published a list of factors to be considered.
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The first question is how Covid-19 is affecting different age groups – especially over-60s, who are most likely to suffer severe illness.
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In Havering, the latest data which includes ages is for the week up to November 11. That week, 23.7 per cent of new cases were in residents aged 60 or above.
The figure was several times higher than the England average of 8.2pc.
Since late September, Havering’s proportion of confirmed cases in over-60s has fluctuated, but overall there has been a slight upward trend – and the virus is gradually spreading through older generations.
In the seven days to November 11, the age groups with the highest infection rates were 40-49 and 50-59, whereas in late September the most affected group was 30-39 and in early September it was 20-29.
The second consideration is the rate at which cases are rising or falling.
On September 30, Havering had 157 cases, giving an infection rate of 60.5 cases per 100,000 people.
Four weeks later it had more than tripled, to 478 cases and an infection rate of 184.2.
Another four weeks later, on November 18 – the most recent verified data – cases had hit 1,005, a rise of 23pc on the previous week, giving an infection rate of 372.2.
Preliminary data collected since then suggests the infection rate is still rising and is higher than the national average of 228 per 100,000 people.
The third factor which will determine which tier Havering goes into is the proportion of tests carried out which are positive.
In Havering, the percentage of positive tests has risen every week since September, even in weeks when fewer tests were done.
In the week to September 30, 3.1pc of cases came out positive. By the week ending November 11, it had more than quadrupled to 12.7pc.
The final issue is NHS occupancy.
Since late September, the number of hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has risen six-fold.
The most recent data, from November 17, shows 240 beds occupied – compared to 40 in late September.
On November 10, Covid patients occupied 174 beds, meaning the latest data recorded an increase of 38 per cent in one week.
All those figures taken together suggest Havering will be put in a higher tier.