COVID cases continue to rise fast in many part of the Winchester but are dropping in some others.

The sharpest increase is in Alresford which in the seven days to July 22 had 30 cases, up 23, or 329 per cent, for a rolling number per 100,000 of 354.6.

Other places with rolling number over 400 are Springvale and Itchen Abbas, 32 cases, up eight, (33 per cent), 465.4; Winchester West (Fulflood and Weeke area) 49 cases, up six (14 per cent) 491.6; Winchester North and Sparsholt, 39 cases, up six (18 per cent) 401.9; and Colden Common and Twyford, 39 cases, up 12 (44 per cent) 409.4.

These places are now marked in maroon on the Government cluster map.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Cases also rose in South Wonston, Sutton Scotney and Micheldever, 17, up seven (70 per cent, 289.2; Swanmore, Hambledon and West Meon, 31, up 15 (94 per cent), 356.0; Winchester Central and South, 31, up two (7 per cent), 281.9.

Places that saw Covid decline in the week to July 22, the most recent date for which localised figures are available, are: Bishop's Waltham and Waltham Chase, 37, down five (12 per cent), 382.4; Denmead and Southwick, 31, down one (3 per cent), 302.3; Winchester East (Winnall and Highcliffe) 20 cases, down one (5 per cent) 245.5; Winchester Stanmore, 14, down eight, (36 per cent), 206.4; Oliver's Battery and Hursley, 22 cases, down nine (29 per cent), 269.1.

Whiteley, Knowle and Wickham stayed the same, 46 cases, no change, 392.9.

The numbers have been unpredictable in recent weeks, rising and falling in different areas across the district. At one stage this month Winchester had fallen to be around 150th out of the 315 local authority areas across the UK. On Monday it had improved to 80th.

Across the Winchester district there were 438 new cases, up 55 on the previous seven days, a shallow rise of 14 per cent, for a rolling number per 100,000 of 350.8, lower than the Hampshire number of 369.9.

The school term has now ended but last week 29 schools in the district were affected by Covid with St Bede primary in Hyde closing four days early, as reported last week.

Although the infection rate has been soaring, the number of people ill enough to be in hospital is still low. The most recent figures showed ten Covid patients under the care of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), with five in Basingstoke and five at the RHCH in Winchester.

The last death in the Winchester district was on March 3, 147 days ago. In the area covered by the HHFT there have been 442 deaths since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020 with three in the last week, after none for 88 days.

The vaccination rate in Winchester for first dose is 86.4 per cent, compared to 88.2 per cent nationally; for both doses Winchester is doing better with 72.1 per cent against 70.8 per cent nationally.