WINCHESTER district has been hit by a highest number of new cases of Covid in more than three weeks. But the reason is unclear.

Numbers generally have been dropping steadily, but today the district has seen 38 cases reported in the last 24 hours, the biggest daily number since January 22.

It was unclear whether this was just a one-off and there will be no information on the geographical location of the cases for several days. Numbers had been falling in Winchester West the area that includes the prison, the source of the most recent hotspot. The Ministry of Justice says it does not comment on numbers of cases at individual prisons.

Today's district increase of 38 compares to yesterday's nine cases, Saturday's 13 and Friday's 18.

The number of Winchester district cases since the start of the pandemic is now 4,630 for a rate per 100,000 people of 3,716.

Almost all parts of the district are seeing sustained falls in numbers. In the seven days to Thursday February 11, the most recent day for which figures are available, there were only 90 cases down from 180 in the previous seven days. There are only 24 local authority areas out of 315 with better numbers.

Three areas of Winchester have seen fewer than three cases in a week - Stanmore, Alresford and Springvale and Itchen Abbas. These areas are now marked white on the Government map.



Covid rates are rising in just two areas of the Winchester district.

The weekly number of new cases of Covid-19 has tumbled to its lowest figure in nearly two months - except in Colden Common and Twyford and Oliver's Battery and Hursley.

In the seven days to Wednesday February 10, the most recent day for which such localised figures are available, there were 12 cases in Colden Common and Twyford, up six, or a rise of 100 per cent. The rolling number per 100,000 people has risen to 126.0, still below the England average.

Oliver's Battery and Hursley reported six cases, up four, or 200 per cent.

Across the district in the last seven days 115 new cases have been reported, including today's figure of 38, down from 166 on the previous seven days.

In the seven days to February 10 there were only 102 new cases, down 84, or 45 per cent for a rolling number of 81.7.

Meanwhile, the last Covid hotspot in Winchester has carried on cooling, according to new figures released today.

The Winchester West area, including hotspot focus of Winchester Prison, had just 23 new cases in the seven days to February 11. That is a decrease of 34 on the previous seven days, or 60 per cent. The rolling rate is 230.8 per 100,000 people, still above the national average.

Across Hampshire there were 1,576 cases, down 1,040 or 40 per cent for a rolling 114.0.

Four people with coronavirus have died in hospitals across Hampshire, according to the latest NHS figures.

One person died at the Hampshire Hospitals trust (HHFT) that runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, moving the number of deaths there to 405. There is no available breakdown on regarding at which hospital the deaths occur.

NHS England statistics published today show that no deaths were recorded at University Hospital Southampton, keeping the total at 432 since the start of the pandemic.

A further three deaths were recorded at Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, bringing its total to 821. No deaths were recorded at Solent trust (8) or Southern (54).

The county’s hospital coronavirus death toll now stands at 1,720.

HHFT says its figures only include those who have a positive test for Covid-19 and not other viruses. Patients with a positive test may also being treated for other ailments.

The latest available figures from last Monday show HHFT was caring for 124 Covid patients: 68 in Basingstoke, 56 at the RHCH and none in Andover. Last Monday the figures was 151 with 89 in Basingstoke and 62 at RHCH and one in Andover. The Winchester fall is 10 per cent.

No-one was reported to have died of Covid in Winchester district today. The number of deaths from the pandemic in the district is 171, or 137.0 per 100,000.

Across the Hampshire County Council area no deaths were reported today, according to the Office for National Statistics. These are when deaths are reported not when they happened. It brings to 2,167 the death toll in the HCC area since last March, a rate of 156.7 per 100,000 people.

Across the county council area today 191 cases were reported bringing the total to 59,132, for a rate of 4,277 per 100,000.

The number of cases in the Winchester district since the start of the pandemic is 4,640, an infection rate of 3,716 per 100,000, well below the England average of 6,301.

Deaths reported in Southampton are now 296, down two on yesterday, or 117.2 per 100,000. No reasons have been given for the recalculation. In Portsmouth the figure is 328, up one, for 152.6 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, four local primary schools have reported Covid cases in the last 10 days. They are: All Saints in Highcliffe, Otterbourne, Twyford and St John's in Waltham Chase.