The Covid self-reporting app Zoe suggests Bristol is currently one of the worst-affected areas in England for coronavirus infection. Its interactive map estimates that there are more than 91,000 ‘active cases’ of the virus in Bristol city, which dwarfs the latest official figure from the government.
Unlike the government’s statistics, which only register positive covid tests and has stopped reporting over Christmas, the Zoe Health Study uses self-reported positive tests and data modelling to calculate how many people in each area are likely to be infected. Bristol and some of the area around it are modelled as having the highest infection rate in the country.
In total, Bristol is estimated to have 91,119 Covid-positive people, from a self-reporting sample of 1,878 people in the city. This would equate to roughly one in five inhabitants. Of the areas covered by the app, Bristol accounts for more than a third of the 234,178 modelled cases in the UK.
This does reflect a wider trend seen in hospitals and NHS trusts across the South West, where the numbers of people with coronavirus occupying beds in the region has doubled in the past three weeks, with almost a thousand beds now occupied, as of December 28.
At University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust, there were 77 people with Covid in hospital, twice that of the start of the month, with one person on mechanical ventilation. While at North Bristol NHS Trust, there were a further 57 Covid patients in hospital.
While much of the public health focus in recent weeks has been the Strep A outbreak among children, coronavirus remains prevalent in the greater Bristol area. Thankfully, due to the successful vaccine uptake, there has only been one known death due to coronavirus in December.