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COVID19 Update from ERYC

Published at 1:22 pm Mon Feb 22nd, 2021

An update from East Riding of Yorkshire on all things COVID19.

Key Updates:

  • New cases – numbers remain high and reduction in cases has stalled
  • 7 day rate of new cases - decreasing but slowing, East Riding remains lower than both region and England
  • Cases in older people – numbers continue to remain high in the very elderly but the rate is reducing
  • Rates decreased in almost two thirds of areas in the East Riding
  • Hospitalisation due to COVID-19 – numbers of COVID patients occupying beds continues to decrease but pressure on hospital services and staff remains

New cases – numbers remain high and reduction in cases has stalled

The East Riding count of positive COVID-19 cases has currently reached over 16,100 in total and the 7 day average of new cases since September is displayed in chart 1. The number of new cases had been moving in a downward trajectory since January, but over the last week the reduction has slowed considerably. In the 7 days up to 11 February, there were approximately 62 new cases per day, compared to the 63 cases a day reported for the previous week.

Chart 1. East Riding of Yorkshire residents - new daily cases of COVID-19

7 day rate of new cases – still decreasing but slowing. East Riding remains lower than both region and England

The ‘7 day rate’ is the most commonly used method of understanding the trend in new cases whilst taking account of day to day fluctuations. For the 7 days up to 11 February, the East Riding rate (127 per 100,000 population) remains lower than the rates of region (159) and England (149), but the reduction in rate has slowed in the East Riding. As stated last week, whilst a reduction in the East Riding 7 day rate is positive news, it still remains over 2.5 times the 50 per 100,000 threshold, regarded as the highest category earlier in the summer. The current rate, however, remains well below the peak of the 2nd wave (496 per 100,000).

Cases in older people – numbers continue to remain high in the very elderly but the rate is reducing

Older people remain at a higher risk of serious illness, as a result of becoming infected with COVID and so their infection rates are regularly monitored. Chart 2 illustrates the 7 day infection rates (between 15 January and 12 February) for 5 different age groups within the East Riding. Until recently, the rate in most age groups had been largely falling, but in the most recent week the rate in some age groups appears to have plateaued. The rate of the 60+ years (shown by the blue line with blue circles) had shown a slight increase recently after a consistent drop in rate since 25 January, but this increase already appears to have been halted.

There is positive news to report about the infection rates in residents aged 80 years and over. Their rates have continued to fall since late January and are now no longer the age group with the highest rate in the over 60’s. There were 23 new cases recorded in the 7 days up to the 12 February, involving residents aged 80+ years. This is in contrast to 3 weeks ago, when we were reporting 62 new cases per week.

Chart 2. East Riding of Yorkshire residents – rolling 7 day rate per 100,000 population of COVID-19 by age group

Rates decreased in almost three quarters of areas in the East Riding

Almost two thirds of areas within the East Riding reported a decrease in their 7 day rate (up to the 11 February) compared to the previous week. We are pleased to report there has been no substantial community outbreaks and there hasn’t been a specific area, in the East Riding, which has consistently had the highest rate throughout the pandemic. Rates have previously been high in the west (Pocklington and Goole), then at another time they had been higher in the East (Hornsea). More recently rates have been higher in South Cave, Beverley and Anlaby Common.

Chart 3. Infection numbers in East Riding wards since October

Hospitalisation due to COVID-19 – numbers of COVID patients occupying beds continues to decrease but pressure on hospital services and staff remains

The number of COVID patients occupying hospital beds continues to decrease and a downward trend is visible in chart 4, which shows the daily numbers of COVID patients occupying beds (blue bars) in three of our local hospital trusts. An increase in trend (black line) had started in mid-December and continued to grow to over 560 patients as of 26 January but numbers have since decreased. Within Hull Royal and Castle Hill specifically, the decreasing trend continues in a similar manner.

COVID related deaths in hospital have remained particularly high for the past 14 weeks and this is likely to continue for several more weeks. However, as of the last 3 weeks, the count of COVID related deaths has declined week on week.

Chart 4. Total beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients (as at 08:00 each day). 3 local trusts (Hull University Teaching Hospitals, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole, York Teaching Hospital)

Summary

The reduction in the number of new infections in the East Riding has slowed in this last week, as the rates in some age groups have plateaued. This, from time to time, is to be expected as we are unlikely ever to experience a consistent reduction in cases week on week. The extremely positive news, however, is that rates in our very elderly population (some of our most vulnerable residents aged 80 years and over) have continued to decline. The East Riding rate continues to have a lower rate compared to the region and England, but (as noted most weeks) our case numbers still remain high compared to those of the summer.

The numbers of COVID patients within our local hospital trusts continues to decline but it will be some time before the pressure on local hospital trusts will be alleviated. Many severely ill patients infected in recent weeks remain in their care and there will be others in the future. We are still within the winter months too and so there is a natural pressure there on the system.

For additional information on daily COVID-19 cases, please click here

Coronavirus new variants

With the news that new variants of coronavirus have been identified, the advice remains to stay vigilant and to focus on behaviours which prevent the spread of infection.

We continue to monitor the situation in the Humber and we are watching out for any unusual patterns or outbreaks. For further information please click here.

Additional information

For additional information on daily COVID-19 cases, please click here.

National information

The Office for National Statistics contains searchable and comprehensive data and analysis related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You can visit the site here.