THIS week saw the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Cheshire West and Chester surpass the 7,000 mark.

The borough also twice recorded its biggest one-day increase of positive cases since the start of the pandemic.

Here is a round-up of the main Covid stories this week:

  • More than 200 cases of coronavirus were recorded in Cheshire West and Chester over a 24-hour period, according to Government data released yesterday (November 12). It means the borough saw its highest daily increase in confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic for the second day running. A further 228 positive cases were reported in yesterday's update. Today, a further 193 cases were reported taking the total number to 7,691.
  • One further death of a patient with coronavirus has been recorded by the Countess of Chester Hospital Trust in the latest 24-hour reporting period. NHS England data released this afternoon shows that the death sadly occurred yesterday (November 13). It means the trust – which covers both the Chester and Ellesmere Port hospital sites – has registered five deaths this week.
  • Preparations for distributing a potential coronavirus vaccine are underway in Cheshire West and Chester, according to council leadership. Chief Executive Andrew Lewis told the authority's Covid-19 outbreak board that initial work had begun on the logistics of distributing the vaccine. On Monday, pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer announced that a preliminary trial of its vaccine recorded a 90 per cent effectiveness rate in a cohort of 43,500 people.
  • Six out of the ten Cheshire West and Chester Council wards with the highest coronavirus infection rate are in Ellesmere Port. Two Chester wards and two areas of Winsford complete the borough's current top ten, according to the latest data available from the council's Covid-19 dashboard online. Whitby Park, with 617.78 (31 cases) per 100,000 people, remains the council ward with the highest infection rate.
  • The University of Chester has described the Government's plans to allow students to travel home for Christmas as a "significant logistical operation". The institution is now awaiting more information from Whitehall although it did confirm that work was underway to ensure all "appropriate measures" are taken to safeguard students, staff and the public. It was announced this week that students in England would be allocated staggered departure dates during a "travel window" between December 3-9 so they can return home after the four-week Covid-19 lockdown.
  • More than 2,000 emergency food bank parcels were provided for children in Chester and Ellesmere Port during the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic. That represents a huge 40% increase in demand for the same period last year , according to West Cheshire Foodbank. Its latest figures reveal that a total of 5,471 emergency food parcels were given to local people between April and September – 2,271 of which went directly to children.