The places in Wales where coronavirus infection rates are growing fastest


With the coronavirus situation moving very fast in Wales people want to know where the virus is currently on the march.

Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan and Neath Port Talbot are going into lockdown on Monday at 6pm and there are worries other parts of the country may no be far behind.

The Technical Advisory Cell which advises ministers says it advises lockdowns should be brought in where the number of cases in an area in a week passes 50 for every 100,000 people.

Rhondda Cynon Taf, Newport, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr, Cardiff, Llanelli, Swansea and Blaenau Gwent have already been forced into local lockdown as a result.

WalesOnline has compared the figures released on Sunday, September 27 with seven days before (Sunday, September 20).

These figures are seven day rolling totals for new cases adjusted for population ( per 100,000 people ). It is important to remember that though these figures are a useful guide they are just part of the story. If testing massively increases in one place there is likely to be a rise in confirmed cases.

However these figures are still a vital factor in Welsh Government and Public Health Wales decision making.

Speaking to the Senedd’s Health Committee last week, Fliss Bennee, co-chair of TAC, outlined the levels that an area would have to reach before it was ordered into lockdown.

These were:

  • Between 15-20 cases per 100,000 they would put a local authority or health board on the “watch list”.

  • Amber level – Between 25 and 50 cases per 100,000 would mean considering and weighing up restrictions.

  • Red level – Over 50 cases per 100,000 would mean putting in restrictions immediately.

These are the current areas with the fast increasing rates of Covid-19:

1. Pembrokeshire

The amount of cases per 100,000 people in Carmarthenshire has increased 694% since last Sunday rising from 1.6 to 12.7.

It is really important to point out that the county still has relatively low rates of the virus. Only Ceredigion, Monmouthshire and Gwynedd have lower.

Because it was starting at such a low case number, even a smll increase in cases can mean a large percentage increase.

2. Blaenau Gwent

Blaenau Gwent was put into lockdown last Monday along with Merthyr, Bridgend and Newport.

It currently has 287.7 cases per 100,000. For context, tourists from countries with more 20 cases per 100,000 are required to isolate upon returning.

It is too early to tell if the local lockdown will make a difference in the county which has seen a 571% increase since last Sunday when cases were are 32.9.

3. Swansea

As of 6pm on Sunday the Swansea local authority area will be lockdown along with Cardiff.

Cases were just 17.4 per 100,000 last week but have now risen to 93.1.

This is a rise of 435%.

4. Torfaen

The county of Torfaen will go into lockdown from 6pm today along with Neath Port Talbot and the Vale of Glamorgan. Yesterdays announcement, as well as confounding many London based news readers with its pronunciation, was unsurprising given how fast the virus is spreading.

From 9.6 cases per 100,000 last week to 47.9 yesterday, this is a rise of 399%.

5. Ceredigion

Like Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion is in this list because it started from such a low case number to begin with. The West Wales county has avoiding signifcant cases up and till now. The rise from 1.4 cases to 6.9 cases is a 392% increase though it still remains the place in Wales with the lowest rate of the virus.

This table shows the growth rates in every local authority – and the good news from Caerphilly is that it does seem possible to reverse the trend as the virus is falling faster there than any other part of Wales.

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