This video shows how coronavirus spread across England throughout 2020

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 12:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 2:07 pm

This new interactive graphic reveals how coronavirus infection hotspots changed in England throughout 2020 – and which neighbourhoods were hit hardest at different points in the pandemic.

The JPIMedia Data Unit has crunched the Government’s weekly figures to create a map showing how coronavirus spread across the country over the course of the year.

You can explore the map in more detail at the bottom of the page, or watch it in the video below.

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The country is divided into more than 6,700 areas known as 'Middle Layer Super Output Areas' – a small geographical unit which usually contains about 7,200 people, often used in official statistics.

Areas are shaded according to how many coronavirus cases per 100,000 people were recorded in seven-day blocks by the Office for National Statistics between the weeks ending March 19th to December 31st. The darker the colour, the higher the rate.

How has the virus spread?

The time series shows the virus lingering in the North and Midlands throughout April after an initial surge in London and the South East.

Cases subsided across the country over summer before the second wave struck the North West and Yorkshire in October.

Infections began to ebb during November as the national lockdown took effect, but large swathes of London and the South East were engulfed in red as the new variant of the virus emerged in the run up to Christmas.

Case rates are far higher now than during the first wave in April.

However, far more tests are now being carried out, which means fewer cases are going undetected, unlike during the first wave when most people could not get a test even if they had symptoms.

Where has had the highest infection rate?

Fallowfield Central in Manchester saw the single highest coronavirus rate in 2020, with 7,507.5 cases per 100,000 people recorded in the seven days to October 1st.

In the last week of the year, the highest rate was in Longbridge and Barking Park in East London, with a rate of 2,045.9 per 100,000.

A total of 740 neighbourhoods had rates of at least 1,000 in the seven days to December 31st.

Play, pause and hover over areas in the graphic below to see how many cases there have been where you live.