There have been nearly 200 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Somerset on the day the government confirmed significant changes to Christmas restrictions.
The government announced new Christmas rules, including only allowing households to mix on Christmas Day instead of the previously-agreed five day period.
New tier restrictions have also been confirmed, with areas of London, the South East and eastern England returning to measures comparable to November’s national lockdown.
All regions of Somerset remain in tier 2 but there have been 189 new cases of the virus confirmed by Public Health England as of 9am this morning (Saturday, December 19).
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The most new cases were seen in North Somerset, which only returned to tier 2 restrictions today, where 65 new cases brought the total to 4,870 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Sedgemoor and Somerset West and Taunton saw rises of 36 and 34 respectively as the next most affected areas.
Bath and North East Somerset saw 23 new cases, there were 19 more in South Somerset and Mendip saw the fewest new cases with 12.
There have also been 11 deaths recorded in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total across the county according to the government’s data to 252.
Breakdown of latest positive results by district:
North Somerset: 4,870 (+65)
Bath and North East Somerset: 4,118 (+23)
South Somerset: 2,047 (+19)
Somerset West and Taunton: 1,923 (+34)
Sedgemoor: 1,918 (+36)
Mendip: 1,221 (+12)
The South West’s coronavirus infection rate has surged this week, but still remains one of the lowest in the country.
New data released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies shows our region’s R number is now between 0.9 and 1.2, up from 0.8-1.0 last week.
This means every ten people with the virus could be spreading it to up to 12 others.
Meanwhile, our growth rate has risen from -4 to 0, which showed the virus was shrinking, to 0 to +3. This means the virus could be spreading by up to three per cent every day.