AS Winchester slips into Tier 4, the Covid-19 numbers are worsening across the district led by villages in the southern parishes.

Countywide 14 deaths have been reported in the county council area in the last 24 hours but none in the NHS area that includes the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

The southern parishes of Denmead and Southwick, close to Tier 4 Portsmouth, are still seeing their numbers rocket upwards as they have for several days.

In the two villages in the seven days to December 18, 96 cases have been reported, an increase on the week before of 75, a rise of 357 per cent. The rolling number per 100,000 people would be 936, amongst the worst in the country.

In the adjacent area of Swanmore, Hambledon and West Meon there have been 21 cases, up 12 or 133.3 per cent, for a rolling number of 241.2.

But these are the only two areas of the Winchester district where the increases are above the national average.

In Winchester city itself the numbers are edging up. In Winchester East, which comprises Winnall, St Giles Hill, Highcliffe and Bar End, there were eight cases, down one, for a rolling number of 98.2. In Alresford, where numbers were climbing so sharply last month that Perins secondary school closed, there have been just 3 cases, up one, for a rolling rate of 35.5.

Across Winchester district in the seven days to December 18 there have been 207, up 121, or 140 per cent, for a rolling number of 165.8. The 'district' covers more than just the city and covers a swathe of central Hampshire from Micheldever to Denmead.

The concern is that the infection will spread from Denmead and Southwick up the Meon Valley from Denmead towards the small towns of Wickham and Bishop's Waltham.

A couple of weeks ago and Winchester was in the top 10 out of 300+ council areas for the number of cases. There are now around 100 better off. Eastleigh and the New Forest remain in the 'top' 20 along with the Isle of Wight.

Hampshire Chronicle:

The daily increase in Winchester district was 30 today, down from 44 on Tuesday and 43 on Monday.

The worsening situation can be seen by the fact that in the last seven days to today there have been 240 cases in Winchester district, compared to 113 in the week previously.

In total there have been 2,163 cases since the start of the pandemic, up from 2,133, giving an infection rate of 1,732.43 since March. The national rate is currently 3,267.5.

Out of the 300+local authority areas Winchester is worse off than around 85. Last week for a few days there were only ten better, showing the steady rise in Winchester, probably caused by the proximity of the Winchester district to the badly-affected areas of Portsmouth and Havant.

Hampshire Chronicle:

The latest figures from the NHS show there are currently 31 Covid patients at the RHCH compared to 30 last week and 44 at Basingstoke hospital compared to 45 previously.

In the NHS across Hampshire 10 people are reported to have died today, with one in the HHFT area that includes the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Across the county’s NHS some 839 people have died since March.

In Winchester City Council area the figures for deaths is 102, no change. In Portsmouth it is 123, up one, and 139 in Southampton, no change.

The Office for National Statistics reports that 986 have died in the Hampshire County Council area, with an increase of 14 today.

So far, at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust there have been 233 deaths, no change; 234 people have died at University Hospital Southampton, no change, whilst at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust the toll is now 352, up seven. It is the second day in a row that seven people have been reported to have died in Portsmouth.

Other Covid news:

Winchester moves into Tier 4

Read more here

Our live blog this afternoon

Read it here

Tier 4: what you can and can't do (spoiler alert...very little)

Read more here