Drop in coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove

In the last month, there has been a significant reduction in the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Brighton and Hove.

The news came from the city’s director of public health Alistair Hill, at a meeting of the city council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday 15 July.

During the meeting, Mr Hill said there were six days at the start of July without any positive test results in the city.

However, these figures are updated continuously, and the data shows just five zero case days, between 3-7 July.

The latest figures – which include both NHS  and privately conducted tests – show the city has eight new cases in the last seven days.

The committee heard how Brighton and Hove has a very low number of infections compared with other areas nationally, with 263 cases per 100,000 population.

Officially confirmed cases, where people took a test up to 15 July, are 779 in the city, although these numbers are likely to change for the same period as new lab results come in.

Mr Hill said the actual figures are likely to be higher as many people experience no symptoms and may not be tested.

He said: “The rate is much lower than nationally, that is partially explained by our younger age distribution, we knew people were more likely to be tested who were sicker.

“Those more likely to be ill tend to be older and have other health conditions.”

Hundreds of people are tested every day in the city. The percentages of positive tests is approximately one per cent.

In other areas such as Leicester and Manchester, Mr Hill said the positive rates are significantly higher.

High-risk areas are enclosed spaces,  indoor environment and places without good ventilation.

The authority is promoting effective social distancing, 2 metres if possible, if not possible, then face coverings.

Mr Hill said: “We will have to live alongside Covid until we have an effective vaccine.

“The good news is the level of infection in the community is significantly lower, and we are having few positive test results.

“However, as restrictions are lifted, and the economy opens up, there are significant risks of outbreaks.”

The local outbreak plan available on the council website aims to prevent and contain the spread.

At the moment, Mr Hill said the authority is looking at places where outbreaks might be likely by carrying out risk assessments.

He said there are “robust” measures in place for a rapid response in care homes and schools.

Up to 3 July, 158 people in Brighton and Hove died with Covid-19 on the death certificate.

The highest number of deaths was the week ending 17 April.

Between 17 April and the week ending 3 July, all deaths have reduced.

From the week ending 27 March to 15 May, there were excess deaths compared with the five-year average.

During January and February, the death rate was lower than the five-year-average, which Mr Hill put down to the mild winter with the lower rates of flu and other respiratory diseases.

In the city, there were 57 deaths in the city’s care home.

Mr  Hill said approximately 30 per cent of care homes, a total of 25 in the city, have had outbreaks of Covid-19.

This has reduced significantly, and in the last fortnight, one care home had an outbreak.

Brighton and Hove is ranked lower than average for care home deaths at 230th out of 317 local authorities in England.

City council executive director for health and adult social care, Rob Persey said a lot of work was happening to get as much information as possible out to a broad audience.

He said: “If we knew at the outset what we know now things would be different.

“We are trying to learn things as we go. We are not through this crisis yet.

“It is still an ongoing issue. We don’t have a vaccine yet.”

Up-to-date statistics are now available on the city council’s website at new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/covid-19-key-statistics-brighton-hove

  1. Paul J Williams Reply

    But most deaths now are old infections not new ones. People who’ve had it for weeks or months and are dying of secondary complications like blood clots. Whole programme about it on Radio 4 a few days ago.
    This is almost over and we should be returning to normal life.

  2. Valerie Reply

    Because only those tested are counted it is impossible to be clear or confident & cases testing positive continue to rise worldwide

  3. Steve Reply

    People like Paul J Willliams are a threat to society (who commented on this article yesterday). I’m assuming you’re not a leading expert in all related fields…?! So don’t make definitive statements like that. They’re misleading and dangerous. It always seems to be Tories/Brexiteers/Racists that deny the dangers of COVID19. I wonder why – maybe it’s always selfish people? Patience is required by all.

  4. Brighton Osler Reply

    Well, I’ve never voted Tory and I didn’t vote for Brexit and, given my mixed heritage, I would like to think my experience of occasional casual racism has made me more conscious of speaking and behaving with consideration to all people, whatever their race, religion or skin colour.
    I have been alarmed, though, by the sheer fear, blind panic and casual hypocrisy which has characterized our Government’s response to this pandemic.
    Of course, this is not the only country to show how lockdowns are not only ineffective in protecting people from the virus, but effective in creating ideal conditions for efficient further transmission. Infection rates and deaths soared in just about every country which instituted a lockdown. They tended to follow a similar, but less severe, statistical pattern in countries where there were no lockdowns, or more localized, targeted lockdowns. They appear to have managed to flatten the curve.
    The failure of most lockdowns, especially the wider, indiscriminate lockdowns, could turn out to be because it is counter-productive to shut people indoors, including old people cooped up in care homes, when the evidence and the WHO advice seems to suggest the virus, like other viruses, thrives indoors. Transmission is easier in smaller, enclosed spaces and still air.
    The sea and the sea breeze in places like Brighton help safely disperse droplets which cause respiratory infections. Yet we panicked when people wanted to come to the beach, despite Brighton’s particular contribution to the understanding of the benefits of sea air.
    As an example, Spain closed its beaches, yet there were few places likely to have been safer, especially with some common sense and maybe a deploying of marshalls on busier beaches and on the routes to and from the more popular beaches. Spain’s indiscriminate lockdown seems to have sent infection rates and deaths soaring.
    Let us not forget, there are other health, social and economic costs to any lockdown, which may well blight our societies for an entire generation.
    And, now, the fuss about face masks reminds me of the toxic Brexit debate, with more heat than light, and precious little informed debate. According to the WHO, a barrier, like a shield or a face mask, is useful when social distancing is not possible, such as in certain medical and care settings. It is often otherwise counterproductive, that is to say, it is more safe not to wear a face mask. Doing so can inhibit the efficient functioning of our respiratory system.
    For many people, seeing people in face masks is a sign that it may be unsafe to venture out, to the shops, for a meal, and so the spiral of social and economic harm continues, and the consequent adverse health outcomes.
    Sadly, the liberal-left climate in which I grew up, where people engage in rational debate, citing evidence and trying, like scientists, to come up with proof or disproof, has been replaced by two sides shouting slogans and not listening to each other.
    To be clear, I have no respect for the blind, and seemingly wilful, ignorance of the likes of Trump and Bolsanaro either. It is vital to weigh up evidence, risks and uncertainties when a novel respiratory infection emerges. Previously, politicians have not panicked and the response has been much more effective, and pandemics have been successfully contained.
    We have much to learn, not least how to listen, question and reason in a more rational way.

    • Chris Reply

      More fact-free, dangerous, ill-informed nonsense about masks despite the sensible plea for civilised debate.

    • Fem Reply

      @ Brighton Osler: Brilliant comment! Thank you! I wish there was informed debate about the COVID measures taken on national TV but it’s still lacking. We just have ‘the usual suspects’ ventilating the opinion of the government. Proper HVAC systems and HEPA filters need to be installed in public work spaces and the entertainment and hospitality industry. It needs to be done NOW, or else we’ll have further CV-19 waves when we go into Autumn and Winter that cause even more hardship to people and damage to the economy.

  5. silvio zuco Reply

    Oh behave Steve. A threat to society! Lol , having a differing opinion is hardly right wing or racist and linking it to brexit is plain ridiculous. A bigger threat is mob rule, non socially distanced protests, the end of discourse, censorship and the ever increasing intolerance dressed up as left wing rhetoric that has more in common with fascism than socialism.

    • Judi Reply

      Silvio Zuco, originally from Bedford?

      • silvio zuco Reply


        • Judi Harrison Reply

          Wow, remember you. I was Judi Mathias

  6. Lance Orton Reply

    People are irresponsible when it comes to their health and the health of others. As a gay man who lived through the HIV/AIDS pandemic the health message was clear but people continued to to be infected and die year on year. Sensible people will wear face masks and follow hand hygiene until a vaccine is found and those that don’t will run a higher risk of infection and consequently infecting others.

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