Top five Covid hotspots in England as cases drop in 98% of country

Coronavirus cases fell in all but seven areas in England last week, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Of the 315 local authority areas across the country, 98% of them (308) saw a week-on-week drop in infections in the seven days to July 24.

It represents a remarkable turnaround from the situation last week, when figures suggested cases were surging in 97% of places in England.

The three regions with the highest rates are all still in the North East, which has been badly affected by the third wave and was recently given extra testing and vaccination support to help tackle a huge rise in cases.

Middlesbrough tops the list with 1,216 new cases, equivalent to 862.5 per 100,000 people.

Redcar & Cleveland comes in second despite the rate actually dipping from 1,580 to 849.4, with 1,165 new cases.

Stockton-on-Tees has the third highest rate, down from 1,199.4 to 759.1, with 1,498 new cases.

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