These are the neighbourhoods across the West Midlands with alarmingly high Covid-19 infection rates – despite a third national lockdown.
Featherstone West, Coven and Shareshill in South Staffordshire has topped the list with both areas seeing rates surge past 1,500 cases per 100,000 people.
Smethwick South has also seen a huge explosion in case numbers and now sits at second on the list with an alarming infection rate of 1,365 as of January 16.
Balsall Heath East and Sparkhill North are Birmingham’s highest neighbourhoods with 1,300 and 1,177.
The news comes as a stark warning urging people living across Birmingham and the Black Country to ‘not drop their guard’ as hospitals struggle to cope with the demand of Covid patients.
Council chiefs from across the two regions have joined forces to urge residents to stick to the rules as the latest official figures showed that almost 40,000 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus across the country.
Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Ian Brookfield, has said around 2,200 people in the city tested positive for the potentially-fatal virus in just seven days.
The vaccine roll-out is one cause for optimism, but echoing the fears of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), the leaders of Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull, Dudley and Walsall councils have urged people to stick to the rules around social distancing, hygiene and testing.
Cllr Ian Brookfield said: “Over 2,200 people in Wolverhampton tested positive for Covid-19 last week. The infection rate is still really high, people are losing loved ones and our hospitals are under enormous pressure. If we relax now, it could have disastrous consequences.
“So, as more people are being called for vaccination, it’s crucial that we all continue to do everything we can to keep the people we love safe.
“Don’t be tempted to bend the rules. Please continue to follow the regulations on social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of face coverings – and stay home unless absolutely necessary.
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“Testing continues to be very important and I would urge all businesses – where staff are unable to work from home – to enable regular rapid testing of employees who are symptom-free, either by working with us to establish testing facilities or allowing their staff to attend testing appointments during the working day.
“And remember, if you develop symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate and book a PCR test.
“The vaccination roll-out has given everyone hope that we can finally bring this pandemic to an end, but we’re not out of the woods yet – far from it. So, we simply cannot afford to drop our guard now.”
These are the areas with the highest rates:
Featherstone West, Coven and Shareshill – 1,560.2
Smethwick South – 1,365
West Bromwich North – 1,329
Balsall Heath East – 1,300
Blakenall North – 1,263
Bushbury – 1,255
Old Hill – 1,180
Sparkhill North – 1,177
Tipton – 1,158
Bushbury Hill – 1,156
Willenhall Park – 1,154
Wednesbury South – 1,152
Sparkbrook South – 1,137
Ettingshall – 1,133
Greets Green West – 1,113
Low Hill – 1,122
Wake Green East & Moseley Bog – 1,089
Greets Green East – 1,081
Heath Town – 1,037
Bradmore – 1,032.5