Dramatic drop in Covid-19 cases in Oldham hotspots

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter

Werneth has seen the highest number of coronavirus infections in Oldham but cases are continuing to fall dramatically in the former hotspot Alexandra Park.

Government statistics show that Alexandra Park had recorded the most positive Covid-19 incidences in the week to November 3, with 143 cases.

However the latest data in the week to November 10 shows that this has fallen significantly to just 60 cases – a 58 per cent decrease.

Werneth, which has also recorded consistently high coronavirus cases, is now the worst hit area in Oldham, with 127 cases in the same seven-day period.

But cases in Werneth have been broadly plateauing in recent weeks to around 126 every seven days after rising steeply throughout October.

The next highest areas are Busk and Oldham Town South, with 86 and 85 cases respectively.

Last week health chiefs revealed that dozens of coronavirus patients at the Royal Oldham Hospital are struggling to breathe without medical assistance.

As of November 10, there were 121 patients in the hospital who had tested positive for the virus.

Of these, 19 were on mechanical ventilation, 52 were receiving oxygen and a further 16 were being treated with non-invasive Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to help them breathe.

They are also having to expand their intensive care capacity to 30 beds, up from 22, and are expecting to have to increase this again to 39.

Katrina Stephens, the borough’s director of public health has also confirmed there are outbreaks of the virus in care homes across Oldham, with seven ongoing as of November 6.

Ms Stephens said there has been a 54 per cent increase in the infection rate of the over-60s age group, which is leading to more hospital admissions.

“What’s been particularly concerning over the last couple of weeks has been the increase in the rate, particularly in the over 60s, and that’s concerning because we know the rate in that age group track particularly closely to increases in hospital admissions and increases in deaths,” she told a meeting of the health and wellbeing board.

“We’re now in this four weeks of lockdown and I think the critical issue now is us to be looking at what happens from December 3 onwards.”

However there are signs that the four week lockdown which came into force on November 5 is having an effect on case numbers, with the infection rate in Oldham dropping to 627 as of Sunday.

This remains the highest rate per 100,000 people in the region but is down 22 per cent from the week before.

The area of Oldham with the lowest number of infections in the week to November 10 is Failsworth East, which recorded just 18 new cases.

The latest weekly cases for the borough, broken up into Middle layer Super Output Areas (MSOA) which are sorted by population:

  • Werneth – 127
  • Busk – 86
  • Oldham Town South – 85
  • Clough & Shaw Side – 66
  • Derker – 65
  • Moorside and Sholver – 62
  • Alexandra Park – 60
  • Chadderton South West – 57
  • Waterhead – 56
  • Oldham Town North – 53
  • Chadderton Central – 49
  • Royton North – 49
  • Failsworth East – 48
  • Lees and Hey – 48
  • Lime Side and Garden Suburb – 45
  • Royton East and Cowlishaw – 43
  • Shaw and Crompton – 41
  • Hathershaw  -36
  • Diggle, Delph and Denshaw – 34
  • Alt – 33
  • Chadderton South East – 33
  • Chadderton North – 31
  • Wood End – 31
  • Salem – 30
  • New Delph, Dobcross and Austerlands – 28
  • Royton South West – 28
  • Failsworth South – 28
  • Springhead & Grasscroft – 26
  • Greenfield and Uppermill – 25
  • Holt Lane End and Bardsley – 25
  • Failsworth West – 18

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