In the last week we have seen clear confirmation that infection rates have fallen here in south west Shropshire and across the county. We are not out of danger yet. Infection rates in south east Shropshire around Bridgnorth are high and those in north east Shropshire around Hinstock and Hodnet are among the highest in the country.

We can be hopeful that the third lockdown and the growing pace of vaccination are now turning the tide. I am always cautious interpreting the data because of problems in reporting test results and the ability of this virus to resurge when it mutates. That means the need for caution remains.

The three graphs below are up to date to yesterday. The grey bars to the right of the graphs are provisional data.

Shropshire currently has a provisional rate of infection – the number of cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days – of around 190, down from a peak of above 470 three weeks ago.

Data for local areas with Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin have a lag. The graphs below are up to date to the end of Week 3, Sunday 24 January.

As before, there is a wide variation between different areas of the country. In the week to 17 January, the rate in Hinstock and Hodnet was 2,252 high enough to ask if there has been an error in data recording. The following week’s infection rate was 1,300, still huge. That looks to be a problem Stoke Heath prison rather than the wider population.

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