West Midlands town in top 10 Covid hotspots in England, according to NHS data

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Covid rates and hospitalisations are rising in the West Midlands and across England

Life in Birmingham and the rest of West Midlands has been normal for most people after spending almost two years in isolation and intermittent lockdowns - but there are fears that Covid is returning as a threat to everyday life yet again.

Hospitalisations and infection rates are increasing in the region at a growing pace - with the West Midlands and South West regions seeing the highest numbers. According to the latest NHS data, Solihull currently has one of the highest rate of Covid infection in England.

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One in 30 people in Solihull had Covidbetween 27 September and 3 October - making it the eight highest rate of infection in England and the highest in the West Midlands, according to Office of National Statistics data analysed by BirminghamWorld analysts at NationalWorld.

Solihull has a much higher rate of infection than Birmingham where one in 35 people have Covid, with the city ranking at number 23 for highest Covid rates. Sandwell also has a Covid rate of one in 35 people, but with a smaller population it ranks highter than Birmingham - at number 12.

Solihull ranks at number eight alongside other West Midlands local authority areas which also have a rate of one in 30 cases - namely the County of Herefordshire, Malvern Hills, Worcester, Wychavon and Wyre Forest.

Autumn Booster jabs are being rolled out now (Photo by Victoria Jones - Pool / Getty Images)Autumn Booster jabs are being rolled out now (Photo by Victoria Jones - Pool / Getty Images)
Autumn Booster jabs are being rolled out now (Photo by Victoria Jones - Pool / Getty Images) | Getty Images

This is what Solihull’s Director of Health had to say

“The Office for National Survey (ONS) provides the most robust information on COVID rates and has shown an increase in COVID rates across the country since early September. Solihull is just one area that reflects this trend.

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“To provide the best level of protection this Winter, we would advise people to make sure they are fully vaccinated against both flu and COVID. We expect flu levels to return to what we saw before the pandemic this year so it’s important that anyone who is eligible for flu vaccination takes this up.

“COVID boosters are now being rolled out to people aged 50 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, those aged 5 years and over in a clinical risk group and health and social care staff so do take up this offer if you are invited. If you have not yet had a COVID vaccination, it is never too late to come forward for one,” said Solihull Director of Health, Ruth Tennant.

For further information about where to get COVID vaccinations locally please visit their website.

Covid rate in Birmingham

In Birmingham, one in 35 people tested positive for Covid during the same period making it the 23rd most infectious local authority area in England.

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Birmingham shares this position with Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Staffordshire Moorlands, and Tamworth.

The rate of infection is higher in Birmingham than in the City of London which also has one in 35 cases, but ranks at number 51, according to the data.

Covid rate in Sandwell

More people had Covid between 27 September-3 October in Sandwell than Birmingham. Sandwell is the 12th most infectious place in the country along with Shropshire in the West Midlands.

Covid deaths in Solihull, Birmingham and Sandwell

Most people contracting Covid are aged over 70. There are far fewer deaths than at the start of the pandemic.

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Covid is still a life risk and has been attributed to causing deaths in Solihull, Birmingham, Sandwell, along with the rest of the country. Seven more deaths were recorded in each area for Solihull, Birmingham and Sandwell, over the latest weekly period on 13 October - 21 in total across the three local authority areas.

In Solihull, a total of 776 people re recorded as having died from Covid in the area when the UK coronavirus dashboard was updated on October 13. In Birmingham, a total of 3,804 people had died from the respiratory disease and there were 1,380 deaths recorded in Sandwell in total.

Which region has the highest rate of infection?

While the overall Covd rate for each region has not been recorded the rates for individual areas. In the North West the areas with the most infection are Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden, and South Lakeland.

In the North East, the most infected area is Cheshire West and Chester. In the West Midlands it’s Solihull and Herefordshire, Malvern Hills; Worcester; Wychavon; and Wyre Forest.

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In the East Midlands, Boston; East Lindsey; Lincoln; North Kesteven; South Holland; South Kesteven; West Lindsey have the highest rates of infection.

In Yorkshire and The Humber, it’s York and it’s Eastbourne; Hastings; Lewes; Rother; Wealden in South East. In the South West, Cheltenham; Cotswold; Forest of Dean; Gloucester; Stroud; Tewkesbury have the highest rate of Covid infection and in London it’s Hillingdon.

A Covid vaccine A Covid vaccine
A Covid vaccine | PA

Top 7 areas with high Covid infection

Here are the local authority areas with highest Covid rates in England:

  • Allerdale; Barrow-in-Furness; Carlisle; Copeland; Eden; South Lakeland; - 3.6% - one in 30 people have Covid here
  • Tameside; - 3.3% - one in 30 people have Covid here
  • Halton; Warrington; Trafford; - 3.3% - one in 30 people have the infection here
  • Cheshire West and Chester; - 3.2% - one in 30 people have covid here
  • Boston; East Lindsey; Lincoln; North Kesteven; South Holland; South Kesteven; West Lindsey; - 3.2% - one in 30 people have covid here
  • York; - 3.2% - one in 30 people have Covid here
  • Eastbourne; Hastings; Lewes; Rother; Wealden; - 3.2% - one in 30 people
  • Solihull; County of Herefordshire; Malvern Hills; Worcester;  Wychavon; Wyre Forest. - 3.1% - one in 30 people have Covid here
Eligibility to receive to Covid booster differs across the UK Eligibility to receive to Covid booster differs across the UK
Eligibility to receive to Covid booster differs across the UK | Adobe

How to get booster jabs?

While Covid is unlikely to be gone from our lives completely anytime soon and the Autumn vaccine rollout is taking place in stages.

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Currently, some people can get booster jabs. Check if you are eligible to get a booster jab right now here.

You can book your jabs online or just walk-in to a vaccination centre. You can use the walk-in centre finder on the NHS website.

How to reduce risk?

Those who are eligible to get the autumn booster jabs are urged to do so as Covid is expected to rise in the winter again. With multiple holidays like Halloween and Christmas coming up in the next few months, it is time to be extra cautious so you don’t miss out on the festivities this time.

The UK government recommends the following for individuals to reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19 by:

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  • a. Getting vaccinated;
  • b. Letting fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meeting outside;
  • c. Wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet, when rates of transmission are high;
  • d. Trying to stay at home if you are unwell;
  • e. Taking a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms, and staying at home and avoiding contact with other people if you test positive; and
  • f. Washing your hands and following advice to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.

What did the authorities say?

Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Sarah-Jane Marsh said in a tweet that the booster roll out has been a success.

Beverly Beverly
Beverly | NHS

What NHS staff said about vaccinations

Matron for Gastroenterology at Heartlands Hospital, Beverley Baker, said: "I feel it’s important to have the vaccine to set an example to others and bust the myths. If I can do it so can you."

Endoscopy Nurse and co-BAME Chair at Birmingham and Solihull NHS, Olga Leach-Walters, said was one of the first people to receive her COVID-19 vaccination at Millennium Point.

She said: “As a nurse it’s vital I had the vaccine as soon as I could to protect my patients - but I also had it for myself, my family and friends. You too have the opportunity to make this important choice, do it for those around you. Please go for it when you are able to. The vaccine has undergone rigorous tests to make sure it is safe and effective."

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