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How to spot a local coronavirus outbreak from data

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In early March, the coronavirus was spreading through England and Wales at a rapid rate that rate of increase began to taper off slightly. But as the increase fell, the numbers of cases grew. Moving into April, we were now moving towards the peak of confirmed cases in the community, with several areas now seeing more than 15 new cases per day. Moving from late April into May, both of those numbers started to go down as we moved past the peak.

But you can see that we still had some communities with elevated rates of infections per day. Among those was Leicester, which became famous for its second lockdown in June. It’s been joined them by more places that had very different outbreaks. We see the meat processing factory outbreaks, but all of those were very short-lived.

Here we are now in July. You can see that we now have that community spread going on in places still like Leicester, although it’s down from its peak. The question now is whether cases will continue to fall in those areas or whether that community spread might expand further.

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