The new coronavirus hotspot in Greater Manchester – and why infection rates have skyrocketed – Manchester Evening News

A spike in coronavirus cases in one area of Bury has left it with the highest infection rate in Greater Manchester.

The huge spike has been caused by ‘outbreaks at care homes and care facilities’ in one ward, the Manchester Evening News can reveal.

Bury has seen a slight decrease in its infection rate week-on-week, but it holds onto the highest infection rate across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester with 208.4 cases per 100,000 people, according to the latest figures from December 15.

One neighbourhood in particular has seen an extreme spike.

The Kirkhams and Holyrood ward saw 59 cases in the seven days leading up to December 10, show in Public Health England data.

That number is up from just 15 cases, a 293 percent hike in comparison to the week prior.

The massive jump left Kirkhams and Holyrood with a infection rate of 957.9 cases per 100,000 people.

This is the tenth highest in the country, and the highest rate anywhere in Greater Manchester by a significant margin.

The PHE coronavirus cases map shows Kirkhams and Holyrood to be the only area in Bury shaded purple to show it has an infection rate per 100,000 above 400
(Image: Public Health England)

The spike in the ward has now been linked to outbreaks at ‘care homes and care facilities’ in the area, the M.E.N can share.

Both residents and members of staff have been affected by care home outbreaks.

Kirkhams and Holyrood’s infection rate is far above average, according to PHE
(Image: Public Health England)

“The extent of cases that we have seen are more to do with care home and other care facilities,” Andrea Simpson, deputy leader and cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Bury council, told the M.E.N.

“It’s a bit of both, care homes and care facilities. And that’s the way it has been across Bury.

“The spike has been mainly in the care home sector, it’s not just the residents, it’s members of staff too.

“They may live out of the area but because their place of work is identified as a care facility, it counts for the area that facility is in.

“We are working closely with the homes to help them manage the outbreaks.

“There has not been an outbreak in the wider area.”

The ward has the highest infection rate across Greater Manchester
(Image: Public Health England)

The ‘care facilities’ involved in the outbreaks are ‘not NHS facilities’, Greater Manchester Mental Health trust has confirmed.

GMMH runs The Curve and Prestwich Hospital which reside in the Kirkhams and Holyrood ward.

Just last week, the M.E.N. reported that two more care home outbreaks had resulted in spikes in the Whitehead Park area of Bury.

Although there has been no wider outbreak, the councillor is still urging residents to ‘be careful’.

“People still need to be careful. There are two vaccines and that will take quite a while to get out there,” said Coun Simpson.