THE recent one-day spike in new Covid cases appears to be linked to the recent outbreak at Winchester Prison.

This Monday saw 38 new cases, the highest daily number since January 22. Since then the daily figures have been eight, 18 and just six today, the lowest number since December 3.

The reason for the brief spike remains unclear but figures released today for Saturday February 13 show high numbers in Winchester West, the area of Weeke and Fulflood that includes Winchester Prison. The week-on-week number of cases was back up to 42. The geographical breakdown for Monday February 15 when the 38 cases were reported will not be due until Saturday. There is a week's time lag in the localised figures being made available.

The latest Covid situation today, Friday February 19. Read more here

Last week the Chronicle reported some 100 inmates and prison staff with Covid on Monday February 7.

A recent flare up at the prison would be the most likely reason. The Ministry of Justice says it does not comment on the number of cases at individual jails.

The rolling rate for Winchester West area had been dropping from a high of 662 per 100,000 people down to 180 but today is back at 421, well above the England average and shown as purple on the map, below. There will be no information on the geographical location of the cases for Monday February 15 for several days because of a week's time lag in the localised figures being made available.

The map shows the Winchester West area and the areas where there have been so few cases that they are shown as white.

Winchester West shown as purple because of the high rolling rate in comparison with other nearby areas shown as white

Winchester West shown as purple because of the high rolling rate in comparison with other nearby areas shown as white

The number of Winchester district cases since the start of the pandemic is now 4,672 for a rate per 100,000 people of 3,741. The district covers more than just the city but includes countryside from Micheldever to Denmead.

The Winchester West hotspot is an increasing anomaly as in almost all parts of the district there is a fall in cases although the recent steady decline appears to have shallowed. In the seven days to Friday February 13, the most recent day for which figures are available, there were 109 cases, down 56 on the previous seven days, a drop of 34 per cent, the smallest decline for five days. But there are only 78 local authority areas out of 315 with better numbers.

Winchester figures

Winchester figures

The same five areas of Winchester have seen fewer than three cases in a week - Stanmore, Alresford, Springvale and Itchen Abbas, Winchester North and Sparsholt and Winchester Central and South. These areas are now marked white on the Government map.

Covid rates rose in just one area in the seven days to Saturday February 13, Winchester East, including Winnall and Highcliffe, at 11 cases, up two, or 22 per cent, for a rolling number of 135.0, above the national average.

Across the district in the seven days to today 110 new cases have been reported, down from 128 on the previous seven days.

Winchester University is publishing daily figures. It says there are five current cases of Covid-19 cases linked to the university - three students and two staff, with no new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours.

It states: "When a student or staff member tests positive who has been on campus, we complete an internal Track and Trace process. Since September 2020, 193 previous cases have now completed their self-isolation and have recovered."

No person is reported today to have died of Covid in the Winchester district, with the number at 172, a rate of 137.8 per 100,000 people. They died within 28 days of having a positive test.

There are fewer patients at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, but only slightly on the previous week. As of Monday across the Hampshire Hospitals trust area it stands at 124, down one from 125. There are 68 at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and 56 at the RHCH.

The number of cases in the Winchester district since the start of the pandemic is 4,672, an infection rate of 3,741 per 100,000, well below the England average of 6,356.

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

Five died at the Hampshire Hospitals trust (HHFT) that runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, moving the number of deaths there to 411. There is no available breakdown on regarding at which hospital the deaths occur.

NHS England statistics published today show that two people were recorded to have died at University Hospital Southampton, taking the total at 446 since the start of the pandemic.

A further one death was recorded at Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, bringing its total to 833. No deaths were recorded at Solent trust (8) but there was one at Southern (57).

The county’s hospital coronavirus death toll now stands at 1,755.

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.

Across the Hampshire County Council area 13 deaths were reported today, according to the Office for National Statistics. These are when deaths are reported not when they happened. It brings to 2,223 the death toll in the HCC area since last March, a rate of 160.8 per 100,000 people.

Across the county council area today 194 new cases were reported bringing the total to 59,684, for a rate of 4,317 per 100,000. A month ago Hampshire was reporting over a thousand daily.

Deaths reported in Southampton are now 303, up two, or 120.0 per 100,000. In Portsmouth the figure is 336, no change, for 156.3 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, two local primary schools have reported Covid cases in the last 10 days. They are: Otterbourne and St Bede.