ALRESFORD has emerged as a Covid hotspot in the last few weeks with its secondary school being the first to close as a result.

Perins headteacher Steve Jones took the decision last Wednesday with 50 members of staff and 750 pupils either with the infection or self-isolating.

The school takes students from a wide area, including the Candover Valley and down to Kilmeston, and a large number travel in and out by bus.It is where spreading the disease is most likely to be happening with children then taking it home.

Government figures show that in the seven days to Thursday November 19 there were 45 cases, up 34 on the previous seven days, or 301.9 per cent, a rolling seven-day rate of 531.9 per 100,000 people; the previous day the equivalent figures were 41 cases, up 29, or 241.7 per cent, with a rolling seven-day rate of 484.6 people per 100,000.

On Tuesday Alresford overtook part of Waterlooville to be the area with the fastest increase in Hampshire

A Hampshire County Council spokesperson said: “While the number of cases in Alresford (and the rest of Winchester district) has indeed risen since the start of October, this is broadly in line with the trend for the whole of Hampshire.

"When considering the number of cases in smaller geographical locations with small populations, such as individual towns, care needs to be taken in interpreting the data because just a few additional cases can seem to have a big impact on the overall figures reported.

"However, broadly speaking, the increase in cases in the Winchester district is in line with the trend we are seeing across all districts in the county, albeit since national restrictions were introduced, the increase in the rate of infection across Hampshire has slowed.

“We continue to closely monitor the trends in both Alresford and across Hampshire and will take any appropriate action required in response to concerns where higher transmission rates may be occurring.”

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