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The R value in the South West

You may have heard that the R value in England has risen, including in the South West.

By way of context, the South West has the lowest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across regions in England. Devon in particular has the fifth lowest number of recorded cases of all 150 upper tier local authorities.

This is what the Director of Public Health for Public Health Devon, Dr Virginia Pearson has said about the recent rise in R value.

“The R value is an important regional barometer based on modelling data, but while it provides an estimate of ongoing transmission, it alone cannot determine the rate of growth of coronavirus and does not accurately reflect Devon’s local data on the ground. As such it should be treated with a little caution.

“The South West R value spans from Isles of Scilly to Bristol, and while there have been hotspots in other parts of the region that increase the R value, Devon’s figures have remained low.

“We have the fifth lowest number of recorded cases when comparing Devon to all 150 upper tier local authorities and the consistency of the numbers suggest that levels have plateaued recently. That’s in part due to our residents adhering to lockdown, and heeding national guidance around staying home and social distancing. We have done well in that regard and need to keep that up.

“We continue to work closely with our Public Health and NHS colleagues to ensure the safety of our Devon residents, and we wait to hear the government’s response to this latest R rate announcement.”

If you’d like to understand more about the R value, Public Health England have some useful information on their website.