There were six confirmed cases of coronavirus Covid-19 recorded in the West of England region in the past 24 hours, latest Government figures have revealed.
Those six were two people living in Bristol, two in Bath and North East Somerset, one in North Somerset and one more in South Gloucestershire.
That brings the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic to 1,313 in Bristol, 909 in North Somerset, 345 in Bath and North East Somerset and 753 in South Gloucestershire.
The number of total cases, and the number of new cases, in the West of England is still low compared to much of the rest of the country.
But people living in the region are still catching and testing positive for the virus.
Since Monday, 13 people have tested positive in Bristol, four in North Somerset, five in South Gloucestershire and two in Bath and North East Somerset – a total of 24 in the region since Monday.
Of those 24 this week, 14 positive tests were recorded in the past two days, Friday and Saturday, although it does not necessarily mean they were actually tested on those days.
The recording procedures often have a lag of one, two or more days, and the date they appear on the Government’s count is often not the day the test was taken.
This means that roughly an average of five people a day in the whole of the West of England region have tested positive for the virus in the past week or so, with two or three of those from Bristol, and the rest from the other parts of what was the former county of Avon.
How does this compare to other areas of the country?
That rate of just a handful of new cases a day in Bristol and the surrounding region compares favourably to places in other parts of the country with much higher numbers of people catching the disease.
In Leicester, which is subject to a continued local lockdown as public health officials there grapple with a localised outbreak, they have been seeing between 40 and 60 people a day testing positive.
In other places like Blackburn in Lancashire, which has been a place of concern for the health chiefs, around 20 to 30 people a day have been testing positive. In Bristol, it’s been averaging two or three people a day.
On Friday this week, the first day that face masks were made compulsory in shops, the mayor, Marvin Rees, and deputy mayor Asher Craig handed out surgical-grade disposable face masks to shoppers in Cabot Circus.
The mayor said he was pleased the people of Bristol had been acting responsibly. At that event, the Mayor said he was encouraged by the low numbers and said the people of Bristol had ‘handled it well’.
“It’s been really positive,” the mayor said. “People understand the importance of wearing a mask and taking care of each other. Bristol has handed it well as a city and thats why our numbers are low.”
He added people cannot be complacent and urged shoppers to wear a mask to help protect others: “We have to remember the virus is still here and will be until we get a vaccine,” he added.
What about the rates of cases?
Each new case slightly increases the ‘case rate’ – which is the number of people testing positive per 100,000 people in the population.
In England, seven of the eight areas with the lowest numbers of cases per 100,000 people are in the south west, with Bath and North East Somerset the fifth lowest in the country.
In B&NES, 179.6 people have tested positive for coronavirus for every 100,000 people who live there.
South Gloucestershire has the 14th lowest rate of cases, with 266.4 for every 100,000 people.
Bristol remains the place with the 20th lowest rate of cases, with 283.3 positive tests for every 100,000 people.
North Somerset, which had an outbreak in April and May in and around the town’s General Hospital, has a higher case rate. There, 424.9 people in every 100,000 tested positive, but that is still below the 459.4 figure which is the national average for England.
What about deaths from Covid-19?
The number of people dying of coronavirus in the West of England region, which is Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset, continues to be very low.
No deaths involving Covid-19 have been recorded by either the North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs Southmead Hospital, or the University Hospitals Trust, which runs the BRI and Weston General Hospital, for a few weeks now.
The last death recorded by Southmead Hospital occurred on June 22, and they had not had a death there for a fortnight before that.
At the UHBW Trust hospitals, the most recent death there occurred on July 10.
Earlier this week, the Government released detailed breakdown of the communities affected by coronavirus deaths – plotting a map showing how many people had died of coronavirus in each small area of the city.
It showed that nine deaths occurred in June among people living in Hengrove.