COVID cases have become so severe in parts of the UK that a black color has been added to the government coronavirus map to reveal hot spots.
The worst case rate in Acre Lane, Lambeth, London, recorded 4,445.9 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.
For comparison, it is four times higher than the worst affected part of the North East – Stocksfield, Riding Mill & Corbridge with 1,038.30 cases per 100,000.
The interactive map, on the coronavirus dashboard, shades all villages and towns in the UK based on its infection rate.
Previously, if your zip code was shaded in dark purple, it indicated the highest level of infection – 800 or more new cases per 100,000 in the past seven days.
However, as of today, the color black means over 1,600 new cases per 100,000 people in seven days.
Dozens of areas have been shaded in ominous black due to soaring rates of cases before Christmas.
Today’s map contrasts sharply with the one in early December, before the Omicron variant took hold, centered on London.
The capital has the worst rates in the UK – and now hospitals are starting to feel the impact.
The Omicron variant is more transmissible than any other strain of Covid seen before. Its ability to dodge some immunity also means it is able to spread more quickly through the population.
It highlights the importance of getting the Covid jab booster, which will offer you optimal protection against the virus.
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The UK is now expected to reach nearly 30 million people boosted with a third dose, or half the population.
In England, more than two-thirds of people aged 18 and over have now received their supplementary protection, including more than four in five of those aged 50 and over.
Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for the Sun’s Jabs Army campaign to keep the booster’s deployment at a phenomenal rate.
Where are Covid Rates Worst?
There are pockets of severe Covid across the UK. But most are centered in London.
The data behind the map reveals where the cases are worst by “areas of super mid-layer exit” – the most granular detail.
In London, the following cases had the worst rate per 100,000 population on December 16, the most recent day available:
- Acre Lane 4,445.9
- Clapham North 3,381.5
- Clapham South 3,229.8
- Tooting Bec Commun 3,216.9
- Tooting Bec East 3,206.4
- Putney Town and Wandsworth Park 3,054.6
- Summer city 3,037.7
- Poets’ Corner and Brockwell Park 2,974.3
- Brixton Hill East 2,956.1
- Balham 2,937.2
In the East Midlands, the following cases had the worst case rate:
- University Park, Lenton Abbey and Jubilee Campus 2,925.40
- Lenton & Dunkirk 2,669.60
- The park and the castle 2,279.70
- Brackley North 1,786.60
- Loughborough – University 1,686.80
- Town of Beeston 1,531.50
- Downtown and Trent Bridge 1,531.00
- Navenby, Harmston and Brant Broughton 1,419.50
- Loughborough Storer and Queen’s Park 1,414.80
- Radford 1,404.90
In the Southeast, the following cases had the worst case rate:
- Islip, Arncott & Chesterton 2,915.90
- South Wonston, Sutton Scotney and Micheldever 2,043.90
- Arborfield and Garrison 1,928.90
- 1,867.90 norks
- South Thames 1,864.30
- Onslow Village and University 1,849.10
- Clay door 1,839.40
- Molesey East 1,746,70
- Hinchley Wood and Weston Green 1,725.20
- Long Ditton 1,724,10
In the West Midlands, the following cases had the worst case rate:
- Silverdale and Keele 2,059.00
- Cannon Park and University 1,861.90
- Little Sutton & Roughley 1,317.00
- Newcastle City 1,275.60
- Newcastle West and Cross Heath 1,225.60
- Hagley 1,184.10
- The heather of Reddicap 1 130.30
- Walmley 1110.30
- North Stirchley and Selly Park 1,104.10
- Sutton Coldfield North and Park 1,081.50
In eastern England, the following cases had the worst case rate:
- Large acres 2,358.50
- South Chafford 1,850.50
- Bernards Heath 1,776.30
- South Loughton 1,776.20
- Takeley Airport and South Mountfitchet 1,712.20
- Marshalswick 1,698.10
- Mont Shenfield and Hutton 1,662.70
- Ingatestone & Mountnessing 1,644.30
- Loughton North 1,634.80
- Orsett, Bulphan & Hordon-on-the-Hill 1,631.90
In the Northwest, the following had the worst case rate:
- North Town Center and Collyhurst 1,828.10
- West Didsbury 1,670.30
- Salford Center and University 1,653.40
- New Islington & Miles Platting 1,605.30
- Timperley South 1,602.60
- Hulme Park and St George’s 1,597.90
- Withington East 1,540.90
- Chorlton North 1,483.90
- Chorlton South 1,416.90
- Didsbury Village 1,406.10
In Yorkshire and the Humber, the following cases had the worst case rate:
- Broomhill and Lower Crookesmoor 1,778.40
- Springvale & Steel Bank 1,733.30
- Broom 1,408.50
- Boston Spa & Bramham 1,159.20
- Horsforth Sud and Rawdon 1,140.20
- Brincliffe & Sharrow Vale 1,125.50
- Royal wood 1,105.00
- Endcliffe and Ranmoor 1,089.50
- Scammers 1,040.70
- Hyde Park Corner & Woodhouse Cliff 998.40
In the Southwest, the following had the worst case rate:
- Brislington 1,790.30
- Clifton East 1,369.70
- Common & Fairmile Cavaliers 1,298.10
- Cotham 1,292.00
- Durrington and Bulford 1,261.70
- Hot wells 1,210.90
- Bishopsworth 1,206.00
- Horfield 1,205.10
- Redland and St Andrew’s 1,176.70
- Winton 1,158.50
In the Northeast, the following cases had the worst case rate:
- Stocksfield, Riding Mill and Corbridge 1,038.30
- Ponteland 1,010.40
- Newton Aycliffe North 1,007.80
- Longhorsley, Hepscott & Capheaton 961.00
- Kingston and Dinnington Park 918.40
- Boldon West 879.60
- Esh Winning & Ushaw Moor 861.70
- Tynemouth Priory 828.40
- Durham City 823.50
- Newton Aycliffe West 822.40
It comes as new data shows daily coronavirus cases have already reached over 100,000.
In an update to the government scorecard, tables and charts reveal that 102,297 Covid cases were diagnosed on December 15.
Meanwhile, 90,629 infections have been reported, up 53% from last week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement within the next 48 hours on further restrictions.
The PM plans to take Britain back to the dark days of the Stage 2 borders last spring, where pints were only allowed outdoors and blending indoors was banned.
Time is running out for Mr Johnson to impose restrictions before Christmas Day as the Commons need around two days’ notice to be reminded of the holidays.
Instead, the prime minister is believed to be considering post-festive pressure as early as December 27 to bite Omicron ahead of the New Years, when hospitals feel the pressure.
But speaking today, he hammered home his main message so that people are empowered “to provide vital protection for yourselves, your loved ones and your communities”.