Coronavirus cases in the North East rose by 13.8% in the space of just seven days, according to the latest figures.
The numbers for the period up to December 18 rose from 3,095 to 3,522 with all areas recording a rise apart from South Tyneside which saw a fall of 27 to 439.
However it has the highest current rolling rate of Covid-19 infection in the region of 290.8 per 100,000 people which is also the only figure from the North East above the national average in this category.
The biggest percentage increase was 42.6% in Gateshead where the figure went up 80 to 268.
The table shows Covid cases in the seven days up to December 18; figure for previous seven days; percentage increase
Northumberland – 612/531; +15.3%
North Tyneside – 279/260; +7.3%
Newcastle – 461/411; +12.2%
South Tyneside – 439/466; -5.8%
Gateshead – 268/188; +42.6%
Sunderland – 463/416; +11.3%
County Durham – 1,000/823; +21.5%
Total – 3,522/3,095: +13.8%
Meanwhile, almost 174,000 people in England have tested positive for coronavirus in a single week – the highest ever recorded.
Test and Trace today revealed 173,875 people tested positive at least once in England between December 10-16.
That is up 58% in a week. And 8.7% of all those tested came back positive – a big leap on 6.2% the previous week.
The number of positive tests is the highest ever recorded by Test and Trace, outstripping the previous weekly high of 169,000 at the start of the November lockdown. It is possible more people were positive in March and April, when testing wasn’t widespread.
But today’s figures show there has been a jump in waiting times for test results. The average home test kit took 53 hours to get a result, up from 40 hours the week before.
The figure rose from 21 to 27 hours for regional test sites; 24 to 33 hours for local test sites; 20 to 24 hours for mobile testing units; and 44 to 49 hours for care home tests. Those waiting times are however well below their peak in early autumn.
Meanwhile separate statistics today showed for the first time the official number of people in England who have received a coronavirus vaccination.
Between December 8-20, 521,594 people were vaccinated in England – 366,715 of them over-80 and 154,879 of them in other priority groups under the age of 80.
Statistics on vaccines will be released weekly from now on.