New government guidance has been out since 19th July – many things that were legal requirements no longer are, but some are still advised (see the NHS “How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus” page). Please also read our SCCR statement on the current situation, which underlines that “we can still choose to act conscientiously and with compassion for others“, when numbers of infections locally are high, and there are people in our community who have do not have the protection granted by vaccination (including those who cannot have jabs, or do not benefit as much from them because of a health condition/treatment).
- Rates of people testing positive per 100,000 people across the county are still high at 200-400 per 100,000 people (around the levels they were at the end of June, and well above the levels in March – May). The rate in Stroud district – 319 per 100,000 on 11th August – is still higher than it was on any date from 7th March – 16th July, and is very similar to the rate across Gloucestershire as a whole.
- In Stroud district, the number of people to test positive in the week is the second highest ever (384, exceeded only by 562 in the week to 20th July).
- The number of people in local hospitals that have tested positive is down (19 as of 10th August, compared to a recent peak of 26 on the 27th July).
- Numbers of people dying are lower than in previous waves – but 8 people who had lived in Gloucestershire died with Covid-19 on their death certificates between 18th June and 30th July. Our condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
- The area of Stroud district with the highest rate of people testing positive compared to the population is Berkeley and Sharpness, with a rate of 653 per 100,000 people (with 41 people testing positive in the week to the 10th August, up from 27 in the previous week). Stroud Town also has a high rate – 52 people tested positive in the week, meaning a rate of 445 per 100,000, or one in every 225 people).
- Across the UK, the number of people to have tested positive in the past 7 days is 203,604 – 9,376 more people testing positive in the week compared to the previous week (a 4.8% increase). The numbers of people dying being admitted to hospital (5,476 in the past 7 days, up 111 / 2.1%) are also rising, albeit slowly. In terms of adults, across the UK 77% have been fully vaccinated in 9 in 10 (89.5%) have received at least one dose. In England, 60% of the total population are now estimated to be fully vaccinated and a further 10% have had one dose (leaving 30% unvaccinated – many of whom are not eligible due to being under 16). For local vaccination data see our new monthly vaccination update.
- Globally, the pandemic is far from over: the number of people testing positive for the first time each week is rising – as the virus spreads (particularly in countries with low levels of vaccination). At 645,223 testing positive daily (7-day-rolling average to August 15th), it is approaching the peak of 824,804 reached on April 26th when the Delta variant was spreading in India (confirmed case numbers underestimated the spread then and continue to, of course).
- Further detail and charts on the above and more are below.
The first chart shows a comparison of the key data for Gloucestershire. You can see how the number of people testing positive is still high, having risen after a dramatic drop. The age profile is very different (see below). The number of people being admitted to hospital has risen slightly again (40 admitted in the week to 8th August), but is still lower than the recent peak – 64 to 19th July (purple double-line). That this is happening with such high case numbers is a strong testament to the protective effects of vaccines. There are a number of people who staying in hospital (19 as of 10th August – down from a recent peak of 26 on the 27th July, red block), but you can see that these have not risen in connection with rising cases in the same way they did in the previous wave (positive test numbers are not included for the first wave as access to testing was so limited). Numbers of people dying are lower than in previous waves – but 8 people who had lived in Gloucestershire died with Covid-19 on their death certificates between 18th June and 30th July. Our condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
The number in Mechanical Ventilation beds has fallen after a recent rise: there were 3 people in these beds on the 10th August, compared to a peak of 16 on the 22nd January.
People who have tested positive
Rates of people testing positive per 100,000 people across the county are still high at around 200-400 per 100,000 people (around the levels they were at the end of June, and well above the levels in March – May). Rates are highest in Gloucester and Cheltenham. In Stroud district and Tewkesbury and across Gloucestershire as a whole they have risen – though at a slower rate than prior to the recent spike and drop (which was perhaps related to the Euro2020 football tournament and indoor mixing to watch games?). The rate in Stroud district – 319 per 100,000 on 11th August – is still higher than it was on any date from 7th March – 16th July. You can view daily numbers for Gloucestershire, or districts within it, on the government’s dashboard, and there is more information below.
The number of people testing positive by PCR or Lateral Flow Device in Gloucestershire has fallen by is still high – 1,971 people tested positive for the first time in the week to 10th August. This is the 3rd highest weekly total (though higher numbers of people may have had a virus in a given week in the ‘first wave’ when access to testing was limited). It’s worth adding that the age profile of those testing positive in the current ‘wave’ is very different to January – see chart below.
Though there has been a very considerable increase, this is associated mainly with younger people. That does not mean it’s not a problem, but it does suggest that vaccination is working well in the groups most likely to be fully vaccinated (most people aged over 35 should have had time to get two jabs by now, but rates of full vaccination are much higher for people over 60, in part because of the longer time they’ve had to decide to take up the offer). The chart below shows the difference between people aged over and under 60. In the week to the 10th August, 1,763 of the people to test positive were aged under 60 (91%), compared to 185 aged 60 or over (whereas in previous waves numbers have been roughly evenly split between age groups). Cases are rising among over 60s, but you can see how different the relationship is now to in the ‘second wave’ – when rates among under and over 60s were very similar (over 60s were more likely to test positive in the ‘first wave’ because only people being admitted to hospital were able to access tests). Rates of over 60s testing positive are now approaching the level in March last year, but far fewer appear to be being hospitalised.
The highest rate in Gloucestershire is in St Paul’s in Cheltenham, where 61 people tested positive in the 7 days to 10th August, giving a rate of 738 per 100,000 (or one in every 135 people). In Stroud district, the rate is highest in is Berkeley & Sharpness, with a rate of 653 per 100,000 people (with 41 people testing positive in the week to the 10th August, up from 27 in the previous week). Stroud Town also has a high rate – 52 people tested positive in the week, meaning a rate of 445 per 100,000, or one in every 225 people).
Looking at different areas of Stroud district, we can see that most areas experienced a higher number of peopletesting positive in the recent weeks than at any time since August last year, but weekly numbers seem to have fallen since. The highest numbers are in Cam, Dursley, Ebley & Randwick, Stroud Town, and Upton St Leonards & Hardwicke. They are also high but appear to be falling in Frampton, Whitminstear and Eastington, and in Leonard Stanley & Uley (two of the areas with higher numbers recently), and are rising slowing in Painswick, Bisley and Eastcombe. Note, the MSOA data below is only to the 8th August, so doesn’t include the increase in Berkeley & Sharpness described above.
You can enter your postcode into the government’s dashboard to get more data on your local area.
If we look at the number of PCR tests being done in Gloucestershire, we can see the changes in the number of people testing positive aren’t just about changes in the numbers of tests being done. The number of tests being done is high but fairly flat (22,330 in the week to the 10th August, compared to 22,775 in the previous week to 3rd August, and 28,594 in the week to 18th July), but the proportion of tests that return positive results has been rising fast (at 8.6% it is close to the recent peak of 9.6, and very high high compared to a low of 0.2% between 24th April – 13th, and 16-21st May).
In Stroud District specifically, 384 people tested positive in the most recent week – to 10th August. This is quite a bit higher than the previous week, and still very high (only in one other week have more people tested positive, and that was a few weeks ago). As for Gloucestershire as a whole, the age breakdown is now very different (and more people will have had the virus in a week at the peak in the first wave but not been tested).
We do know that not everyone can get a test or gets one even if they can. The Kings College London/Zoe Covid-19 symptom study app reports estimates for Stroud district – based on reporting of symptoms by people using the app (of whom there are over 3,000 in Stroud district). This week they estimate 785 people with active symptomatic infections in the district – down pretty dramatically (by 231 people) on a week ago, though still at around the level estimated for the January peak. Here’s hoping this is an early indicator of a decline in the numbers of infections and not a blip in the estimate.
Across Stroud district, around 67% of the population are fully vaccinated, with a further 8% having received a first but not a second dose (75% of the population has received at least one dose).
Rates are similar across Gloucestershire and the South West. In England as a whole 60% of the population are now estimated to be fully vaccinated and a further 10% have had one dose (leaving 30% unvaccinated – many of whom are not eligible due to being under 16). Rates locally and nationally are much higher than for the world as a whole – where around a quart (24%). In many countries, under 5% of the population has received at least one dose. See our monthly vaccination update for more details.
Across the UK, the number of people to have tested positive in the past 7 days is 203,604 – 9,376 more people testing positive in the week compared to the previous week (a 4.8% increase). The numbers of people dying within 28 days of a positive test (624 in the past 7 days, up 10 / 1.6%) and being admitted to hospital (5,476 in the past 7 days, up 111 / 2.1%) are also rising, albeit at a rate just higher than being flat. In terms of adults alone, across the UK 77% have been fully vaccinated in 9 in 10 (89.5%) have received at least one dose.
Across the UK, the KCL/ZOE app team estimate around 629,423 people had a symptomtic infection on the 8th August, based on symptom reporting by up to 4.6 million app users (down slightly from 690,506 on the 8th August).
The number of people testing positive has been rising since June 19th to 645,223 daily (7-day-rolling average to August 15th). However, the rate of increase appears to be slowing (especially in Asia and Africa – though this may be related to testing capacity), and may be reaching another peak.
The numbers of people dying with their deaths attributed to Covid-19 continue to rise, particularly in South America, Asia, and Africa. Over 4.3 million people have had their death attributed to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic (and this is believed to be a significant underestimate due to limited death registration data in many countries – including India for example).
In terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths relative to the population, the United Kingdom has a fairly high rate (1,934 – around one in every 517 people), but lower than the worst hit countries – such as Peru (5,986 per million, or around one in every 167 people), Hungary (3,109), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2,957), and Czechia (2,836).
The UK rate is about a fifth lower than for the continent of South America (2,581 Covid-19 deaths per million), but slightly higher than that for the European Union as a whole (1,680), and for North America (1,593) as a whole – but broadly in line with those continents (and this may reflect differences in testing/attribution). However, there are some countries with lower death rates – including Germany (1,097 – not much over half the UK rate), or much lower rates – Finland and Norway have rates 10 times lower than the UK (181 and 149 per million), and South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Vietnam have rates that barely register compared to the worst hit areas (though some of these countries have current outbreaks that may increase mortality, hopefully outbreaks can be controlled / vaccination can rollout before they reach the levels seen in other parts of the world).
Another way to compare the impact of Covid-19, the pressure on health services, and the impact of restrictions, is to look at “excess deaths” (the numbers of people to die in a year compared to the average for previous years). This better captures deaths that might not have been recorded as being due to Covid-19, but may have been the result of other pressures of the pandemic – however, it still relies on death registration data being complete which is not the case for some countries. The chart below shows the following proportions by which the numbers of deaths exceeded the average, for example:
Peru 153%, Ecuador 80%, Mexico 61%, Brazil 40%, Russia 28%, Chile 27%, US 22%, Italy 19%, UK 18%, Swiss 13%; NL, France 12%; Sweden 10%; Germany, Hong Kong, Costa Rica 4%; Denmark, Japan, Uruguay and 16 others: none.
The core advice remains: If you have symptoms (or if you are asked to by contact tracers), self-isolate until you have a negative test – or for 10 days since your symptoms appeared if you test positive or are asked to by Test and Trace. If you are struggling with self-isolating, please get in touch with us or with one of the local support groups, or call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to self-refer or visit NHS Volunteer Responders. You may be able to receive financial support to self-isolate from Stroud District Council.
Book a test via this link. You can now do this whether or not you have symptoms. The link will tell you which type of test to book if you have symptoms or not. Twice weekly rapid tests are available to everyone in England without symptoms. If you have symptoms, there is a permanent unit at Hempsted Meadow in Gloucester, and a walk-in unit in Stratford Park. See this link for details of testing locations in Gloucestershire.
Whether or not you have symptoms, please still follow the public health advice to meet outside when possible, keep indoor spaces well ventilated with fresh air, wear masks when appropriate (they will help prevent spread of the virus if you have it but don’t have symptoms yet, or are asymptomatic – meaning you have the virus but without ever getting any symptoms), keep distance from people, and wash your hands regularly.
If there is a piece of guidance you have a question about, again – please ask in our Facebook group.
These updates are designed to improve understanding of the pandemic and its impacts, with the hope this can help us to reduce those impacts locally. We appreciate they do not involve space to properly convey the full impact of the virus nor the restrictions that are making life difficult for many people. We’re also volunteers with no public health expertise – collating and signposting to other sources for guidance.
Please remember we have a list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website (and welcome further recommendations). The following numbers may be useful:
- Samaritans: 116 123
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
- Mind: 0300 123 3393
- Age UK: 0800 169 6565
- Childline: 0800 1111.
Your suggestions for inclusion of data in these summaries are welcome. Please submit posts to our Facebook group.