The three areas of Greater Manchester with the highest recent surges of Covid-19 cases can be revealed today.
They are the Firswood area of Stretford in Trafford, and Heald Green East and Hazel Grove West, both in Stockport, newly published data shows.
They have the highest infection rates of any area in Greater Manchester for the week ending January 6 – which represents the latest available data.
And the data also shows just how quickly the virus has developed in those areas – and across the region as a whole.
In the Firswood area of Stretford, Trafford, there were 71 new cases in the seven day period – which represents an increase of six from the previous week.
It’s now the area with the highest current infection rate in Greater Manchester.
Yet in the seven days to December 23, there were only 16 cases recorded in the area.
And the week before that, the figures show there were just six, with infection rates actually falling.
Currently, the rolling rate of infection in the Firswood area is 821 cases per 100,000 of the population – a figure well above the national average, which on Monday stood at 625.9 cases per 100,000.
In the week to December 23, the rate was 185 cases per 100,000.
Public health chiefs in Trafford say they believe the rise is likely due to families mingling at Christmas.
A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “There has been a big increase in rates across the whole of Trafford and we would urge all of our residents to take extreme care at this time.
“We have seen a big increase in cases in Firswood, starting at or just before Christmas.
“We suspect that this is due to increased social mixing (families and friends meeting) over the holiday period.
“The highest rates in Firswood are in people aged 19-38 but we are seeing cases across all ages and we have many households with several family members all testing positive.
“This pattern of infection is similar across the borough, with the highest rates in people of working age.
“We do need all of our residents and our businesses to work together to reduce the risks to themselves and others.
“Please stay at home if you can, and reduce the number of people you see.
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“If you run a business, please do ask your staff to work from home if they can and where this is not possible, make sure that you are following all the advice on making your premises covid secure.”
In Heald Green East, 62 new cases have been recorded in the week to January 6 – 28 more than were recorded the previous week.
In the seven days to December 23, there were 20 new cases, which itself represented a huge spike from the week earlier, where four new cases were reported.
Currently, the rolling rate of infection in Heald Green East is 874 cases per 100,000.
But in the week to December 23, the rate in the area was 281 cases per 100,000.
In Hazel Grove West, the data shows there were a total of 44 new cases in the week to January 6 – which represents almost a weekly doubling.
In the seven days to December 23, six new cases were recorded, just one more than in the previous week.
The infection rate in Hazel Grove West is now 811 cases per 100,000.
In the week to December 23, it was 110 cases per 100,000.
The Manchester Evening News contacted Stockport Council for comment.
A published interactive map reveals the rising scale of Covid-19 across our region.
The map shows how each postcode is being hit by the virus.
People can enter their postcode to find figures for their area.
Across the UK, only Argyll and Bute now has an infection rate of 100 cases per 100,000 people or lower.
The three areas of Greater Manchester highlighted in the data are the only three here with infection rates higher than 800 cases per 100,000.
The Lever Edge area of Bolton has the lowest infection rate in Greater Manchester.
The infection rate there is 124 cases per 100,000, with cases falling in the week to January 6.
Denton West and Hathershaw, in Oldham, follow Lever Edge with the lowest infection rates, according to the figures.
Latest figures from Public Health England show infection rates are rising in every borough of Greater Manchester.