Portsmouth's Covid-19 infection rate grows as health official says 'no single cause' for increase

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THE city has the highest rate for new Covid-19 infections in the whole of the county, latest figures show.

But Helen Atkinson, head of public health at Portsmouth City Council, said the city’s rate is still ‘relatively low’ - and infections are spread across all areas and age ranges.

Latest figures for new infections in Portsmouth are 26.5 per 100,000 with 57 new cases for the seven days to September 25. This is up from a rate of 11.2 with 24 new cases in the previous seven-day period.

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Ms Atkinson said: ‘There are a number of factors that impact on the recorded rate of infections and it is difficult to single out one specific cause.

People gathered on the Portsmouth Guildhall steps. Picture: Sarah Standing (140920-7186)People gathered on the Portsmouth Guildhall steps. Picture: Sarah Standing (140920-7186)
People gathered on the Portsmouth Guildhall steps. Picture: Sarah Standing (140920-7186)

‘The data on positive cases in Portsmouth shows that infections are occurring across different age groups and in all parts of the city, while Public Health England reports show that the majority of cases are spread via household transmission.

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Latest Covid-19 weekly infection rates for all areas in Hampshire

Data from local large scale asymptomatic testing programmes are included in our data, which is considered when reviewing local intelligence as part of the Outbreak Control Plan.

‘Portsmouth's rates reflect a growing number of positive cases being identified through widespread testing, as well as small numbers of linked cases that are classed as outbreaks.

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‘We encourage all residents and businesses to do their bit to help contain and reduce the spread of coronavirus, by following the government's guidance, downloading the NHS Covid-19 app and maintaining social distancing with good hand and respiratory hygiene measures.’

The seven-day infection rate was 12.1 for September 7-13 and 10.7 for August 31 to September 6.

Gosport’s latest rate is 10.6 with nine new cases in the week to September 25.

Fareham had 13 new cases with a rate of 11.2 in the same period, while Havant has 17.4 per 100,000 and 22 new cases.

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Data is taken from Public Health England and the PA news agency.

Newcastle upon Tyne has seen a sharp increase to a rate of 238.1, with 721 new cases.

Other areas with a sharp increase are Manchester, Sunderland and Birmingham.

Government has brought in the rule of six and 10pm closing for pubs to try and curb infections.

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Keep up to date with the latest coronavirus news in Portsmouth with our Coronavirus Updates Facebook group.

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