CORONAVIRUS infection rates are soaring in a handful of areas including Leeds, Bristol and Brighton which have so far managed to escape being hit by tougher restrictions.
The number of infections in some areas have jumped by more than 60 per cent in a week as local authorities scramble to get on top of spiralling cases.
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Stockton-on-Tees, with an infection rate of 444.4 per 100,000 – up from 360 the week before, is at the top of the list of places at risk of tumbling into Tier 3.
And Leeds, with 420.6 cases per 100,000 isn't far behind.
There were more than 3,300 new infections in Leeds last week.
The infection rate in Bristol soared by roughly 50 per cent in the last week, with 340 cases per 100,000, up from 227 per 100,000.
That translates to an extra 500 cases in just one week.
And the city is still only in Tier 1 – the lower Covid alert level.
London was given Tier 2 restrictions earlier this month despite much smaller infection numbers across most of the capital.
Bath, Cambridge and Brighton are also all at risk of hurtling towards a Tier 2 lockdown.
Bath and North East Somerset has a much higher infection rate than most London boroughs did when it went into the "high" Covid alert level.
There are currently 194.5 cases per 100,000.
And Cambridge has 189.1 cases per 100,000, significantly higher than the number of new cases in Oxford, which was slapped with tougher restrictions this morning.
Portsmouth and Brighton are also at risk, with 175 cases per 100,000 and 155 cases per 100,000 respectively.
Ministers and top experts have stressed one of the crucial decisive factors on whether to roll out new restrictions is based on new hospital admissions.
Tier 3 risk
Stockton-on-Tees 444.4 (877)
Leeds 420.6 (3336)
Wakefield 430.4 (1499)
Middlesbrough 393.0 (554)
Bristol 340.8 (1579)
Charnwood 437.4 (813)
Calderdale 441.2 (933)
South Staffordshire 364.7 (410)
North East Derbyshire 350.9 (356)
North East Lincolnshire 349.7 (558)
Tier 2 risk
Bath and North East Somerset 194.5 (376)
Cambridge 189.1 (236), 125.0 (156
Portsmouth 175.0 (376)
Northampton 170.5 (383)
Brighton and Hove 155.0 (451)
Plymouth 147.7 (387)
Hospitals in Manchester were heading for tipping point when they were given Tier 3 restrictions.
In the South West, there were only 64 new hospital admissions on Sunday, in comparison to 335 new patients in the North West.
That means the full effect of rising case numbers in places such as Bristol has not yet started to put pressure on local NHS services.
But as cases have risen in places such as as Leeds, the number of new patients in the North East and Yorkshire jumped to 320 on Sunday, up from 219 a week ago.
The worrying figures for places which could be thrown into tougher restrictions come after Government scientists warned the death toll could be even greater in the second wave.
And Sage scientists have warned that by Christmas, virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas already put into the “very high” category.
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