COVID rates in Winchester district are falling so sharply that it is almost in the 'best 50' in the UK.

Its infection rate is now better than 262 of the 315 local authority areas in the country. Only 53 areas have lower figures.

In the seven days to Friday January 15 the rate was 302.7 per 100,000 people (379 cases), a rolling rate of 303.5, compared to the previous seven days of 399.7 (499 cases).

Hampshire Chronicle: The latest available map of Winchester areaThe latest available map of Winchester area

The virus may be retreating across most of the Winchester district but there is a lag with a steady number of people dying.

Three Covid-19 deaths have been reported in the Winchester district today, and the numbers are rising steadily in Portsmouth and Southampton.

The number of deaths from the pandemic in the district is now at 133, or 106.5 per 100,000 people.

Across the Hampshire County Council area only three deaths were reported today, according to the Office for National Statistics. These are when deaths are reported not when they happened. It brings to 1,518 in the HCC area the death toll since last March, a rate of 109.8 per 100,000 people.

These fatalities would have been people contracting the virus several weeks ago when the number of cases was rising fast. Even as new cases decline it will be some time before hospital admissions and deaths keeps pace.

Across the county council area today 874 cases were reported bringing the total to 49,527 for a rate of 3,582 per 100,000. Some 6,102 have been reported in the seven days to January 15, down 1,710 or 21.9 per cent, for a rolling number of 441.4, which is still above the UK average, but falling slowly.

The number of cases reported in Winchester district in the last seven days to today, Wednesday January 20, is again lower than in the previous week. Today there were only 50 cases, taking to 381 the number for the last seven days. The previous week had 423 cases.

The number of cases in the Winchester district since the start of the pandemic is now 4,004, an infection rate of 3,206 per 100,000, well below the UK average of 5,432.

Across the Winchester district only one place has an infection rate higher than the UK average remains Denmead and Southwick. The numbers are falling but only gently compared to others parts of the district. There were 69 new cases in the seven days to January 15, down 12 week on week, a drop of 14 per cent, with a rolling number of 672.8, up on the previous day but more than 100 down on a week previously.

In Oliver’s Battery and Hursley in the seven days to January 15, 24 cases were reported, the same as the previous seven days. The rolling number per 100,000 people is down to 293.5 compared to 305.8 yesterday.

In Winchester East there have been 22 cases, up two as the week before; the current infection rate is 270, up from 245.5 yesterday.

But in South Wonston, Sutton Scotney and Micheldever, in the seven days to January 15, there have been 11 cases, down 19, a fall of 63 per cent, for a rolling rate of 187.1, tumbling sharply.

The Winchester ‘district’ covers more than just the ‘city’ and covers a chunk of Hampshire from Micheldever to Denmead, and Crawley to Ropley.

Deaths reported in Southampton are now 210, up four, or 83,2 per 100,000. In Portsmouth the figure is 227, up seven, for 105.6 per 100,000, nearly matching Winchester for the first time.

A further 20 Covid-19 deaths have been reported by NHS England in Hampshire today. The Hampshire Hospitals Trust death toll is now 313, no change. The trust runs the RHCH in Winchester.

At Southampton Hospital the figure is 325, up three. Portsmouth Hospitals Trust recorded a further 13 to take its total to 618. Southern Health Trust is now 37 deaths, up four, with Solent NHS Trust, remaining on five.

Across the county’s NHS, the five trusts mentioned above, some 1,298 people have died since March, within 28 days of a positive test.

The most recent figures from the NHS, released on Monday, show there are currently 82 Covid patients at the RHCH compared to 84 last week and 152 at Basingstoke hospital compared to 126 previously. There are three patients at Andover War Memorial Hospital, down two.

The HHFT says the figures only include those who have a positive test for Covid-19 and not other viruses.

Patients with a Covid-19 positive test may also being treated for other ailments.

Meanwhile, three local schools have reported Covid cases in the last 10 days. They are Kings' secondary and Bishop's Waltham junior and Shepherds Down special.

Other Covid news:

The list of Hampshire schools affected so far in 2021

Read more here