Covid-19 third wave in north London: Vaccines, cases and hospital impact

The Covid-19 vaccine roll-out continues, but cases in north London continue to rise again

The Covid-19 vaccine roll-out continues, but cases in north London continue to rise again - Credit: PA/UK government

Even as "Freedom Day" approaches, Covid-19 cases in north London continue to rise. 

But the vaccine roll-out carries on - and areas such as Hampstead have among the highest take-up rates locally. 

Hospital admissions are - much more slowly than earlier this year or last - rising again, too. 

Cases

In the week to July 3, Barnet saw 754 cases, Camden had 635, Haringey 593 and Westminster 580. 

In each borough, that is roughly a third up on the week before and in Camden, Haringey and Westminster the rate of cases per 100,000 people is back well above 200.

It's 235.2 in Camden, 220.7 in Haringey and 222 in Westminster. In Barnet, with its larger population, the rate is 190.5.

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Nationwide, the government estimates that the coronavirus reproduction number, or R value, in England has increased slightly and is now between 1.2 to 1.5. 

This means that on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people.

Hospitals

Both the Royal Free NHS Trust and Whittington had small but rising numbers of patients with Covid, according to the latest data at the government's coronavirus dashboard. 

The Royal Free Hospital

The Royal Free Hospital - Credit: Archant

According to the data, across the Royal Free, Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm there were 30 Covid-19 patients on July 6, two of whom were on ventilators. 

On July 4, seven new patients were admitted. This is still substantially lower than the peak of 69 admissions on a single day at the height of the second wave of Covid-19 in January this year.

At the Whittington, the same data shows there are six Covid-19 patients in hospital, with one requiring a ventilator.

Vaccines

All four boroughs continue to encourage people to get their jabs. Haringey are again holding a drop-in clinic at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on July 18 and Camden's vaccine bus is still doing the rounds. 

When split into "medium super-output areas" (MSOAs) - which are slightly smaller than the size of council wards - we can see the vaccine uptake rate fluctuates across the boroughs. 

NHS England data from July 4 shows that in Hampstead Garden Suburb, more than three-quarters (75.4%) of people have had their first jab. But this drops to 58.7% in Golders Green North and 59.4% in Childs Hill - both areas are at the lower end for take-up in Barnet.

In Camden, take-up in areas which demographically skew older and wealthier is higher. Hampstead Town has 69% of people who've had one jab, with Tufnell Park West and Highgate West not far behind. 

But in Swiss Cottage only 54% have had one jab, and vaccine rates are also low in areas like Somers Town and Euston.

In Haringey, vaccine take-up in areas west of the East Coast Main Line is uniformly higher than in the borough's east. 

Across five north London boroughs - Camden, Haringey, Islington, Barnet and Enfield - 50.1% of over-16s have had both of their jabs. 

In Camden it's 39.6%, in Westminster 40.6%, in Barnet 55.4% and in Haringey 48.9%. 

Inner London broadly has the lowest vaccination rates in the country. 

Camden Council

Camden's vaccine bus has been travelling around the borough - Credit: Camden Council

What next?

With cases rising, a 10 Downing Street spokesperson has urged people to continue using the NHS Test and Trace app and following, where applicable, its instructions to self-isolate.

The No 10 spokesperson said the app had been an “important tool” in breaking the chain of transmission of coronavirus.

“The Prime Minister has been clear that he continues to use it,” the spokesperson said.

They added: “We continue to ask people to isolate if they are asked to through the app.”

The number of exposure alerts sent to users of the app in England soared by more than 60% in a week, according to the latest contact tracing figures.

Even after "Freedom Day" - July 19, when restrictions on mask-wearing in public places, venue capacities and other similar rules will lift - people will be required to self-isolate after an exposure alert until August 16.

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