Derbyshire could be on course to get out of tier three

Derbyshire could pull itself out of tier three restrictions if the rate of new Covid-19 infections and hospital inpatients in the county continues to fall.

By Eddie Bisknell
Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 9:48 am

Derbyshire, including Derby, will be put into the most extreme tier three restrictions after the nation’s second lockdown ends on December 2.

This is due to high rates of infection in the community, high hospital Covid admissions and high rates of the virus among the elderly.

All of these key indicators remain high but appear to be dropping which could point Derbyshire to a step down to tier three at the first review of restrictions on December 16.

Derbyshire will be in tier three when lockdown ends but could drop to tier two when restrictions are reviewed. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

During lockdown, Derbyshire, which had only just been put in tier two in its entirety, had soaring record-high levels of Covid-19 infections in the community and hospital admissions had reached new high surpassing the first peak of the virus.

Rates of community Covid-19 infections have since fallen by more than half in some areas of the county as of data available to November 25.

Chesterfield, Derby, the High Peak and South Derbyshire have seen their rates of new cases per 100,000 people in a week fall by in excess of 50 per cent during lockdown.

Amber Valley, Bolsover, Erewash and North East Derbyshire have seen their rates of new infections fall by 40 per cent or above over the course of lockdown

Chesterfield, Erewash and High Peak all now have infection rates below the national average.

This, however, still leaves most of the county, above the national average, some with far higher rates.

In the last week of reliable data, to November 26, Derbyshire as a whole clocked 1,797 new Covid-19 cases.

This is a huge reduction from the 4,000 a week it was seeing at the start of lockdown.

However, this is still more than the county saw in the entire of September, showing it still has a long way to go until infection levels are back at manageable levels.

The county is now seeing under 200 cases per day, down from a high of more than 500 per day.

The level of Covid-19 hospital admissions also remains high and this would need to drop significantly for the county to fall back into tier three.

There are still hundreds of Covid positive patients in hospitals which had been entirely free of patients with the virus for large chunks of the summer.

Dean Wallace, Derbyshire County Council’s director of public health, said: “We have to do everything we can to drive infection rates across the county down – including washing our hands, staying apart and wearing a face covering – so that hopefully we can move into a lower alert level.

“We all want to celebrate Christmas safely so it is more important than ever that we all continue to do everything we can to protect our friends and family by sticking to the rules.

“And even though we’ve been given an opportunity to spend time with the people that we love we have to remember that there will be no ‘Christmas truce’ from this deadly virus, which will keep on spreading.

“This virus thrives on people being together so we must all think carefully about the risks of forming bubbles with our elderly and vulnerable relatives – and consider if it is a risk worth taking.”

The rates of Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people in the week to November 23 for each Derbyshire district, are listed below, followed by the corresponding number of new cases.

Amber Valley: 227 cases per 100,000 people, 291 new cases Bolsover: 242, 195; Chesterfield: 119, 125; Derbyshire Dales: 142, 103; Derby: 213, 547

Erewash: 133, 154; High Peak: 118, 109; North East Derbyshire: 177, 180; South Derbyshire: 190.

The national average rate of cases per 100,000 people for the week to November 25 was 135.

Leicester had a rate of 317 and 1,123 new cases and Nottingham had 167 and 557 new cases.