Analysis of official figures by the Journal has revealed the 10 areas in Wiltshire with the highest number of Covid cases reported during the entire pandemic.
Public Health England figures looking back at the past 12 months show the number of infections recorded on a weekly basis in a particular area since the pandemic began.
The data covers every weekly period from March 17, 2020 to April 20, 2021.
It is broken down by Middle Super Output Areas (MSOAs) which have an average population of 7,200.
Analysis by the Journal has identified the total number of infections (based on the figures provided) reported in each MSOA over the past 12 months.
However, due to the way the figures are counted, the overall total of coronavirus cases actually reported in each area is likely to be higher.
How are the figures counted?
Data by Public Health England shows the number of Covid cases reported week by week from March last year through to last week.
These figures are broken down by small areas in England (towns, villages or even wards) called Middle Super Output Areas (MSOAs).
To protect the privacy of individuals, data for areas that in one particular week reported fewer than two cases comes up as ‘suppressed’.
This means that it is impossible to know how many cases were recorded there in weekly periods when figures were between zero and two.
Why does it matter?
When trying to work out the total number of infections reported in each MSOA since the start of the pandemic, the lack of data for some particular weeks affects the overall total.
An example of this can be seen in the total number of infections for the Wiltshire Council area.
This figure, as of Wednesday April 28, stands at 17,255.
However, if we were to calculate this total by adding up the number of cases found in each MSOA in Wiltshire over the past 12 months, that figure would be skewed by around 1,500 cases – falling short of the total Wiltshire figure.
Data for Wiltshire as a whole, unlike that for each individual MSOA, is publicly accessible as there are no privacy concerns around it.
Are the figures reliable?
As the figures analysed by the Journal are released by Public Health England, it is safe to assume they are.
While it is important to note that the real totals will be slightly higher, provisional totals still allow us to work out which areas have been most and least affected by the virus in the past 12 months.
The 10 places that recorded the most cases are listed below:
- Tidworth & Ludgershall (761)
- Amesbury (611)
- Larkhill, Shrewton & Bulford Camp (529)
- Royal Wootton Bassett & Lyneham (472)
- Westbury (443)
- Laverstock, Bodenham & Coombe Bissett (423)
- Salisbury Churchfields (419)
- Trowbridge East (378)
- Corsham, Bowerhill & Lacock (360)
- Calne North (336)
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