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How many cases are there in your area?

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Image copyright Getty Images There have been more than 340,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 40,000 people have died, government figures show. However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is…

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There have been more than 340,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 40,000 people have died, government figures show.

However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher.

Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:

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The postcode search has been updated to replace data for health boards in Scotland with data for local councils. In England, data for county councils has been replaced with data for district councils. Figures for boroughs and unitary authorities remain unchanged. Last updated 4 September.

Cases rise amid concern over hotspots

The government announced 2,988 new cases on Sunday – the highest figure since 22 May. This includes 208 new cases in Scotland, the highest figure there for more than 17 weeks.

Daily confirmed cases began edging up again in July – after falling significantly from their April peak – as lockdown restrictions imposed in March were eased.

The official number of cases during the peak in the UK underestimated the true level of infection at the time, as widespread testing was not as available until mid-May.

The increase in testing partly explains the rise in daily cases since July – if you are testing more, you are likely to find more cases.

However, despite some local outbreaks, the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England remained stable in the week to 25 August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Its latest survey estimates that one in 2,000 people in England had coronavirus. The figure for the previous week was one in 1,900.

Based on tests in households for current infection, the survey is thought to give one of the most accurate pictures of whether or not new cases are increasing.

The apparent rise in cases since July has not, however, translated into an increase in people being admitted to hospital.

Which areas are on the watchlist?

There are several local hotspots in the UK which have seen a spike in cases since the nationwide lockdown ended.

Public Health England produces a weekly watchlist of areas of concern, based on an assessment of incidence rates, and other indicators such as trends in testing, healthcare activity and deaths.

Leeds, South Tyneside, Corby, Middlesbrough and Kettering are the latest areas to be added to the list as areas of concern.

Parts of Norfolk, Rossendale and Northampton have been added as “areas of enhanced support”, meaning the government will work with local authorities to provide additional resources – such as testing or contact tracing – to help bring the numbers of infections down.

Local improvements in data for Newark, Sherwood, Slough and Wakefield mean they have been removed from the watchlist. Restrictions already in place in parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire have been eased.

In Scotland, restrictions on visiting other households were reintroduced last week in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.

Daily deaths not changing

While the number of new confirmed cases of coronavirus has been rising again recently, government-announced deaths have continued to fall since a peak in mid-April.

On Sunday, the government reported just two deaths – both in England. No further deaths were reported in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

In August, the government’s death toll in England was reduced by 5,340 following a review of the way coronavirus deaths are counted.

New rules mean deaths anywhere in the UK are included in the coronavirus total only if they occurred within 28 days of a positive test. Previously in England, all deaths after a positive test were included.

England has seen the majority of UK deaths from Covid-19. Using the 28-day cut-off, there have been just under 37,000.

Overall death toll could be more than 60,000

When looking at the overall death toll from coronavirus, official figures count deaths in three different ways.

Government figures count people who tested positive for coronavirus and died within 28 days.

But the ONS publishes weekly updates using two other measures.

The first includes all deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, even if the person had not been tested for the virus. The most recent figures suggest there had been nearly 57,000 deaths by 21 August.

The ONS also looks at all UK deaths over and above the number usually expected for the time of year – known as excess deaths. This measure shows the death toll was above 64,500 by 21 August.

The latest figures show deaths at normal levels, slightly above the five-year average. There were 9,631 deaths registered in the UK in the week of 21 August, up on the previous week and 5.2% above the five-year average.

But the ONS says the increase is not due to coronavirus, with the number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the week of 21 August at the lowest it has been in the last 22 weeks.

The government has argued it is too soon to make definitive international comparisons but, as the impact of the first wave becomes clear, analysis is beginning to suggest the UK has been one of the hardest hit countries.

Figures released by the ONS at the end of July showed that England had the highest levels of excess deaths in Europe between the end of February and the middle of June.

Some areas of Spain and Italy were harder hit than UK cities. But the analysis shows the epidemic in the UK was more widespread than in other countries. Scotland saw the third highest death rate in Europe – behind England and Spain. Wales was in fifth place and Northern Ireland in eighth.

What is the R number in the UK?

The “R number” is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.

If R is below one, then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.

The government’s current estimate for the R number across the whole of the UK is between 0.9 and 1.1.

The estimate for England is between 0.9 and 1.0, while for Scotland it is between 0.9 and 1.4. The estimate for Wales is 0.5-0.9 and in Northern Ireland it is 1.1-1.6.

The government has said in the past that the R number is one of the most important factors in making policy decisions, but it now says these estimates are less reliable and less useful because the number of cases is relatively low.

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