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The worrying Covid pattern emerging in two Yorkshire cities

Written by on 06/10/2020

Student areas in Leeds and Sheffield have recorded some of the highest numbers of new coronavirus cases, according to the latest figures.

Seven of the top 20 English areas for most new cases are areas in Sheffield and Leeds which are heavily populated by students.

In the week up to October 1, four Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA) – small areas with around 7,200 average population – in the Woodhouse and Hyde Park region of Leeds appeared in the top 20.

They were Hyde Park Corner & Woodhouse Cliff (281 new cases), University & Little Woodhouse (181), Woodhouse & Little London (166) and Hyde Park (103).

Meanwhile, in Sheffield – where almost 1,000 staff and students at the city’s two university’s have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of term – two MSOAs heavily populated by students appeared in the top 20.

These were Endcliffe & Ranmoor (251) and Broomhall (181).

Leeds city centre was the only other MSOA in the whole of Yorkshire to make it into the top 20.

The situation in Sheffield has prompted both Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield to move more teaching online, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus on campus.

Yesterday it was revealed the infection rates in Leeds and Sheffield are far higher than originally thought, after a Government blunder over testing meant thousands of positive cases had not been counted previously.

Leeds’ infection rate doubled, with 2,177 new cases accounted for, while Sheffield’s more than doubled, thanks to 1,363 new cases.

It has prompted a Sheffield health boss to claim a local lockdown is only a matter of time.

Greg Fell, the area’s director of public health, told BBC Radio Sheffield: “My sense is it’s a matter of time and it’s a matter of when, not if.

“I couldn’t judge when but I sense we’ll be in the space that other councils have had an imposed lockdown over the next month.

“I would be surprised if we last that long.”

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