These are the latest Covid-19 infection numbers for the Liverpool City Region, just one day before the government announces its review of the current tier system.
When the national lockdown ended on December 2nd, the government placed all areas in England under one of three new levels of restrictions.
The tiers are tougher than the ones first introduced in the fall, with the aim of bringing prices down before it loosens around Christmas.
However, in some areas this has not worked. The government has confirmed that London, most of Essex and parts of Hertfordshire will move to the top tier from midnight.
This is due to the increasing virus rates in these areas.
Liverpool City Region is hoping to avoid the same fate after moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2 following national lockdown.
Matt Hancock will announce which areas will be placed in which levels of parliament tomorrow – with changes coming into effect on Saturday.
Local guides are pretty confident of staying in the second tier of restrictions – which allows restaurants and pubs that serve food to stay open – as prices here have remained stable so far.
There have been some small increases in certain counties after moving to Tier 2, but the numbers have not increased to a point where Tier 3 restrictions are likely to be imposed.
These are the latest infection rates for each metropolitan area for the week ending December 12th.
Halton – 114.4 (148 cases)
Knowsley – 99.4 (150 cases)
Liverpool – 95.2 (474 cases)
St. Helens – 116.8 (211 cases)
Sefton – 67.7 (187 cases)
Wirral – 67.3 (218 cases)
The Liverpool City Region average rate for this period is 89.0 cases per 100,000.
If you look at the weekly changes in infection rates in each district, the picture is quite mixed.
Liverpool had a 6.8% increase in cases compared to the previous week, while Sefton saw a 7.9% decrease.
Knowsley saw the numbers rise 3.4% week over week, while Halton saw the numbers fall 9.2%.
However, the overall picture shows that the fall rates do not really change that much, but rather form a plateau without major deviations.
If you look at the average for the metropolitan area, the increase is only 0.4% from the previous week.
The only place the numbers have been steadily increasing lately is Wirral, up 21.1% from the previous week.
But the peninsula had fallen to the lowest number in the metropolitan area by far.
Another additional complication is the introduction of asymptomatic mass tests in all districts of the metropolitan area.
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While this is not being done as part of the November Liverpool pilot and has not seen a large number of additional cases so far, there may still be enough infections to cause small spikes in some counties.
It’s also important to point out that it is likely a little early to see the full impact of the relaxed Tier 2 measures introduced for our region earlier this month.
It usually takes about two weeks for people to show symptoms after infection, so we may have a better idea of those effects when we get the data for earlier this week.
So it’s likely that the current numbers should be enough to maintain Tier 2 status for the Liverpool City region – but the strong message is that we are by no means out of the woods yet and things could get problematic pretty quickly if people stop doing right things to quench the virus here.