THE Cheshire West and Chester Covid infection rate has begun to rise again, following a gradual two-month decline.

And the latest ward by ward data has shown where in the borough the infection rate has spiked the most.

Analysis shows that the Winsford area is now a Covid hotspot, with dozens of cases confirmed in the week of March 14-20 – the latest available data.

Winsford Dene (16 confirmed cases) has Cheshire West and Chester's highest infection rate by some way, at 362.9 – over five times the borough's average of 68.2.

Winsford Over and Verdin (37 cases) has the second highest infection rate with 258.9, and more than twice the number of confirmed cases as anywhere else in the borough.

In the Chester and Ellesmere Port areas, the only wards to record 10 or more confirmed cases in March 14-20 were Wolverham (10 cases, infection rate 180.7) and Blacon (12 cases, infection rate 87.6).

A large number of wards in Cheshire West and Chester have recorded two or fewer cases between March 14-20.

They are:

  • Christleton and Huntington
  • Farndon
  • Gowy Rural
  • Hartford and Greenbank
  • Helsby
  • Lache
  • Little Neston
  • Malpas
  • Neston
  • Northwich Leftwich
  • Parkgate
  • Saughall and Mollington
  • Shakerley
  • Strawberry
  • Tarporley
  • Tattenhall
  • Upton
  • Whitby Park
  • Willaston and Thornton

A sizeable portion of confirmed cases are coming in pupils aged 10-14, as we revealed earlier this week, mainly as a result of hugely increased Covid testing in schools for people even if they are not showing any signs of the virus.

Speaking about the borough's infection rate earlier this week, CWaC chief executive Andrew Lewis said: “Broadly speaking, the experience in Cheshire West mirrored the experience seen in the rest of the country. I think it is very clear now that we are reaching a point where that reduction in the levels of infection in our communities is levelling off.

“This is a cause for concerns. We have been stuck at a level of 60 per 100,000 now for about three or four weeks.

“I think this was discussed at the last meeting (on March 10) and since then we have carried on with the similar level of community infection as measured by the number of positive tests.

“It is a complicated picture as we have a number of things happening — since the vaccine roll out. We have also experienced the lockdown which has brought infection rates down. The reopening of schools and we are also dealing with a number of outbreaks at places of work.”

CWaC director of public health Ian Ashworth added: “It just doesn’t go down at a rapid rate. We really hope to get it much lower. We had quite a large number of cases come through on March 17.

“We are not expecting it to go up in a significant way.

“We have seen a small uptick in the number of people getting tests. That positivity rates has seen a small increase as well but we are still below three per cent.”

  • One further Covid death was reported at a Cheshire hospital in the latest NHS England report on Thursday, March 25. The patient sadly died in the East Cheshire NHS Trust on March 21.