These are the most up-to-date covid-19 infection numbers for the Liverpool city region, just a day before the government announced its review of the current tier system.
When the national blockade ended on December 2, the government put all areas in England under one of three new levels of restrictions.
Levels are stricter than those first introduced in the fall, with the aim of lowering rates before things relax at Christmas.
However this has not worked in some areas, with the government confirming that London, most of Essex and parts of Hertfordshire will all level by midnight tonight.
This is due to the soaring virus rates in these areas.
The Liverpool City Region hopes to avoid the same fate, having moved from level 3 to level 2 following the national blockade.
Matt Hancock will announce tomorrow which areas will be placed in which levels in Parliament – with any changes taking effect on Saturday.
Local leaders are reasonably confident of staying in the second tier of restrictions – which allows restaurants and pubs serving food to remain open – as the rates here have remained stable until now.
There have been some small increases in some districts after moving to Level 2, but the numbers haven’t increased to the point where Level 3 restrictions are likely to be imposed.
These are the latest infection rates for each district in the city region for the week ending December 12.
Halton – 114.4 (148 cases)
Knowsley – 99.4 (150 cases)
Liverpool – 95.2 (474 cases)
St Helens – 116.8 (211 cases)
Sefton – 67.7 (187 cases)
Wirral – 67.3 (218 cases)
The Liverpool city region average rate for this period is 89.0 cases per 100,000.
When looking at the weekly changes in infection rates in each district, a fairly mixed picture is shown.
There was a 6.8% increase in cases in Liverpool over the week before, while Sefton recorded a 7.9% drop.
Knowsley saw a 3.4% week-over-week increase in numbers, while Halton saw a 9.2% decline.
The big picture, however, shows that case rates do not change at all, but rather stabilize without major changes.
If you look at the city region average, there was only a 0.4% increase over the previous week.
The only place to see a recent steady increase in numbers is Wirral, up 21.1% from the previous week.
But the peninsula had dropped to by far the lowest number of any part of the conurbation.
Another additional complication is the launch of mass and asymptomatic tests in all municipalities in the city region.
Find the latest covids-19 fares for your area
While this hasn’t been done at the Liverpool pilot test scale in November and hasn’t found a large number of extra cases so far, there may still be enough localized infections to cause some small increases in some districts.
It is also important to point out that it is probably a little too early for us to see the full impact of the relaxed Tier 2 measures introduced for our region earlier this month.
It usually takes about two weeks for people to start showing symptoms following an infection, so we may have a better idea of this impact when we have the data for early this week.
So the current numbers are likely to be enough to maintain Level 2 status for the Liverpool city region, but the strong message is that we’re not out of the woods yet and things could get pretty problematic if people stop doing it. the right things to try to suppress the virus here.