CLUSTERS of Covid cases have emerged across the UK with pockets of infections in the Midlands and South West.
It comes as new figures show the first signs that the latest wave is slowing down.
The most recent data from the ZOE Symptom Tracker app shows that cases fell by 11 per cent in the last week.
Around one in 21 people in the UK have the bug – with numbers now also falling in the youngest age groups.
The data shows there are currently an estimated 209,243 people infected, down from 235,829 last week.
But there are still six hotspots across the country which have infection rates of between 500 to 1,000 cases per 100,000 of the population.
Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has revealed the areas where you’re most at risk of catching the bug:
- Leeds – 758 cases per 100k of population
- Birmingham – 691 cases
- Sheffield – 657 cases
- Wiltshire – 626 cases
- Cornwall and Isles of Scilly – 580 cases
- Country Durham – 529 cases
An interactive map (above) shows how some infections in these areas have spilled out to neighbouring local authorities.
For example, cases in Wiltshire have seeped into nearby areas such as Dorset, New Forest and Test Valley.
In the Midlands, a cluster has also formed, with areas such as Telford and Stafford seeing a rise in cases.
The Omicron strain is still the main variant circulating in the UK and has found to be milder than others that came before it.
The mammoth rollout of vaccines across the country has also meant that millions of Brits have been protected from severe illness caused by Covid.
The data comes after Professor Tim Spector of Kings College London, who is the expert behind the ZOE Symptom Tracker app warned we could see aÂ fresh wave in January.
Prof Spector said cases could drift down to as low as 80,000 a day in the coming weeks.
“But it means we probably will have a few weeks’ respite as the rates drop until January, so at the moment it’s looking like we might have a relatively peaceful Christmas, which is one time in particular when you do want rates to be low,” Prof Spector added.
However, he said the next peak, which could be witnessed in January, may exceed previous records of 350,000 daily cases.
Figures from the NHS released this week show that as cases have slowed – and so too have hospitalisations.
A total of 10,387 patients testing positive were in hospital as of 8am on October 19 – this is down two per cent from 10,608 a week earlier.
The figures this week show the first week on week fall since September 18.
Around two-thirds of patients in hospital who test positive for Covid-19 are being treated primarily for something else – meaning in most cases, they haven’t gone into hospital with the bug initially.