NEW Covid hotspots are emerging in Winchester district even as overall numbers continue to fall.

Four areas are seeing sharp rises as cases drop in the other ten parts of the district.

The figure of four is the highest number since the July 25 numbers reported on July 30. Stanmore has seen a doubling of cases in a week which can't be blamed on its student population as they have largely gone home. Three of the four areas are in the city which had been seeing steady declines in cases.

Covid numbers are rising fast in: Winchester East (Winnall and Highcliffe) 19, up six (46 per cent) 233.2 per 100,000 people; Winchester Central and South (including St Cross), 29, up 10 (53 per cent), 263.7; Winchester Stanmore, 24, up 12, (100 per cent), 353.9; South Wonston, Sutton Scotney and Micheldever, 17, up seven, (70 per cent), 289.2.

No parts of the district are currently shown as maroon on the Government map, the second highest rating, for cases of more than 400 per 100,000 people.

In the Winchester district as a whole, the city council area, in the week to August 1, the most recent day for which localised numbers are available, there were 288 cases, down 64, (18 per cent), 228.7 per 100,000 people.

In the previous week to July 25 the equivalent numbers were 352, down 88, or 20 per cent, for a rolling figure per 100,000 of 281.9, similar to July 13.

Across Hampshire to August 1 there were 3,173 cases, a drop of 770, 19 per cent, for a rolling 228.4. In the previous seven days the numbers were 3,036, a drop of 2,302, or 37 per cent, for a rolling figure of 284.7.

Falls in the week to August were reported in ten areas of Winchester: Winchester West (Weeke and Fulflood), 20 cases, down 16 (44 per cent) 200.7; Winchester North and Sparsholt, 26, down nine, (26 per cent), 267.9; Oliver’s Battery and Hursley, 12 cases, down nine (43 per cent), 146.8; Springvale and Itchen Abbas, 12 cases, down eight, (40 per cent) 174.5; Swanmore, West Meon and Hambledon, 19, down five (21 per cent) 218.2; Whiteley, Knowle and Wickham, 24, down five, (17 per cent), 205.0; Bishop’s Waltham and Waltham Chase, 27, down eight (23 per cent), 279.1; Denmead and Southwick, 29, down ten (26 per cent), 282.8; Colden Common and Twyford, 14, down 19 (58 per cent) 147.0; Alresford, 16 cases, down ten, 38 per cent, 189.1.

With the numbers being unpredictable in recent weeks, at one stage last month Winchester had fallen to be around 150th out of the 315 local authority areas across the UK. It has been gradually improving and now only 65 areas have better figures.

The last death in the district was on March 3, 157 days ago. In the area covered by the Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust there have been 443 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with none for four days.

The local vaccination rate for first dose was today 86.9 per cent, compared to 88.8 per cent nationally; for both, Winchester is doing better, 74.7 per cent against 73.8 per cent across the UK.

But the number of people ill enough to be in hospital has been rising. The most recent figures show 31 Covid patients under the care of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), with 17 in Basingstoke (down four) and 14 at the RHCH in Winchester (no change). Three weeks ago there 10. The age of patients is falling so whilst unwell they are less likely to succumb to Covid.