Why Derbyshire Dales has recorded highest Covid infection rate in country
A spike in the Covid-19 infection rate in the Derbyshire Dales has been blamed on an outbreak at a prison.
The area has the highest seven-day coronavirus infection rate in the country, according to the latest Public Health England data.
The Dales has seen a spike in confirmed cases – from 46 to 116 in the week up to March 6, with the infection rate per 100,000 people rising from 63.6 to 160.4 during the same period.
However, public health bosses say the spike is due to an outbreak at HMP Sudbury, near Ashbourne.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’re aware of a Covid-19 outbreak at HMP Sudbury, which has affected the current case numbers in the Derbyshire Dales.
“The Ministry of Justice is managing the outbreak and, away from this, Derbyshire Dales has one of the lowest case rates of any district or borough in the county.”
The Ministry of Justice has not confirmed the number of cases at the jail.
A prison service spokesperson said: “Our priority is to limit the spread of the virus and protect the lives of those who live and work in our prisons.
“We have taken precautionary measures at Sudbury, in line with public health advice, and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
In the latest Covid-19 surveillance reported published by County Hall, which covers February 20 to 26, Derbyshire Dales had the lowest infection rate of any district in Derbyshire.
The district reported an infection rate of 46 per 100,000, compared to 180 per 100,000 in Erewash.