Stockport is currently the only borough in Greater Manchester where Covid infection rates are going up – but two places have emerged as being of particular concern.
Brinnington and Adswood are among only four areas in the region to record more than 400 cases per 100,000 people, according to the latest data.
With an infection rate of 568, only Strangeways – where the prison has recently been hit by a major outbreak – had a higher rate than Brinnington during the week to February 23.
Adswood was the conurbation’s fourth worst hit area, with a rate of 425.7 during the same seven day period.
Stockport was the only borough to see a rise – albeit by just 1pc – during that week, the most recent for which neighbourhood level data exists.
Although two of the borough’s most deprived areas, they have at times seen relatively low infection rates during the course of the pandemic.
In early December, Adswood’s infection rate had fallen to double figures, while Brinnington’s was around 120 during the middle of the same month.
Both saw a significant rise after Christmas – particularly Brinnington where cases rose to 659.9 during the week to January 5.
Rates have fluctuated in both areas – Adswood hitting 622.4 in mid-February – but neither has seen them come down to December levels.
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In her weekly message, director of public health Jennifer Connolly told residents that coronavirus was ‘still very much circulating in Stockport’ – and the overall downwards trend was beginning to plateau.
She said: “Across much of the north, rates are declining at a slower pace than other parts of the country and so we need to be extremely vigilant about the measures that remain and will remain in place for a fair while yet.
“We are still under lockdown restrictions, so you must stay at home apart from for essential shopping and exercise.
“We must also continue to work from home if able.
“Every time the virus has an opportunity to mutate it will do, so there is still the chance of more variants emerging.
“The best way to limit the development and spread of new variants is to reduce the number of new infections.
“We must still take actions that stop the virus transmitting in order to protect ourselves and each other.”
Stockport has the third highest rates in the conurbation – behind Bolton and Bury – but the number of cases varies hugely across the borough.
Bramhall North West, for example, is potentially Covid-free, while rates are also very low in Norris Bank.
Most areas saw fewer than 100 cases during the week to February 23.
Coun Jude Wells, cabinet member for adult care and health, said: “Latest data shows that the trends are falling again in Stockport. We are likely to occasionally see small rises in areas or in the overall Stockport rate as we move into smaller numbers overall.
“We continue to monitor the data closely and it’s important that residents everywhere in Stockport continue to follow the current rules.
“We’d like to thank all our residents for the enormous efforts and great care they’ve shown in adhering to the restrictions on social contact and ask them to continue as we want to drive down our rates even further. Stay at Home restrictions continue until no earlier than March 29.”
She added: “If you’re not able to work from home, please adhere to the guidelines your employer has put in place, particularly being mindful of the need to keep your distance, wearing a face covering, washing/sanitising your hands regularly and keeping indoor spaces well ventilated. Residents should continue to keep to the guidance around hands/face/space, even once they are vaccinated, as we need to keep showing the great care we have done so far.”
Stockport residents can find more information and advice here.