Covid cases in my area: What is the R-number where I live? Where Covid is still rising

Covid-19: More than 120,000 cases in 24 hours in the UK

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Ever since the Omicron variant was detected in the UK last month, the country’s Covid epidemic has escalated. The Government has responded to record numbers of cases being reported by introducing several Covid restrictions for people to endure over the festive season. So, as cases continue to rise across the UK, what is the R-number for your area?

What is the R-number?

The R-number represents the latest reproduction number and growth rate for Covid in a given area.

Originally, it was introduced so that people could better understand the state of the pandemic in the UK.

According to guidance listed on GOV.UK: “UK estimates of R and growth rate are averages over different epidemiological situations and should be regarded as a guide to the general trend rather than a description of the epidemic state.”

Over the course of the Covid pandemic, the R-number for every area has fluctuated, but what are the current values for the various regions in England?

According to the latest data, officially published by the Government, England has a R-number of 1.0 to 1.2.

Consequently, this represents a Covid growth rate for the country between zero to three percent.

Readers should note that the latest estimates represent the transmission of Covid from two to three weeks ago.

This is due to the time delay between someone being infected, developing symptoms, and needing healthcare.

An R-value between 1.0 and 1.2 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will pass the virus on to between 10 and 12 other people.

Furthermore, a growth rate within zero and three percent means that the number of new infections could be broadly flat or growing by up to three percent every day.

Estimates of the R-number and growth rate are averages over time, geographies, viral variants, and communities.

As a result of this, and the time required to see changes in the data streams, these estimates will not fully reflect the recent rapid growth of Omicron.

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If we break the data down further the NHS region in England with the highest R-number is London – which has a R-value between 1.2 and 1.6.

Indeed, this means that the capital is seeing a Covid growth rate ranging within three to eight percent.

The next two regions which have the highest R-number’s are the east of England and the Midlands.

The East of England has a R-number between 1.0 to 1.2, while the Midlands R-number spans within 1.0 and 1.1.

Overall, the current R-number for each NHS region in England is as follows:

  • East of England – 1.0 to 1.2
  • London – 1.2 to 1.6
  • Midlands – 1.0 to 1.1
  • North East and Yorkshire – 0.9 to 1.1
  • North West – 1.0 to 1.2
  • South East – 0.9 to 1.1
  • South West – 0.9 to 1.1

The increase in the R-number for different areas can be explained by the spread of the Covid variant Omicron throughout the UK.

A record 23,719 cases of the strain were reported as part of the most recent daily figures – Friday, December 24.

Covid cases in general are rising across the UK at unprecedented levels, with 122,186 cases reported on Christmas Eve – the highest daily total since the pandemic arrived in the British Isles.

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