These university cities saw a significant rise in infections after a “glitch” in test and trace data hid soaring case numbers. The technical error saw thousands of positive coronavirus tests not recorded during late September before it was detected on Saturday. The error meant people are only now being told they have come into contact with an infected person.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Some of the data got truncated and it was lost.”
When pushed on whether he could put a number on the people that were not contacted to say they had been exposed to an infected individual, he replied: “I can’t give you those figures.
“What I can say is all those people are obviously being contacted and the key thing is that everybody, whether in this group or generally, should self-isolate.”
These new lockdown measures for these cities will be tougher than the recent measures brought into the Midlands.
Residents in Nottingham have also been told to prepare for new lockdown measures.
The error saw thousands of cases between September 25 and October 2 failed to be recorded on Public Health England’s Excel spreadsheet – which automatically pulls regional data – as it was created on an older format which could only handle 65,000 data rows rather than one-million plus rows.
As a result around 15,841 new cases were left out of the Government’s database.
When adjustments were made for the error the infection rate jumped to a record high of 22,961 on Sunday.
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There was an almost trebling of the per 100,000 infection rate in Sheffield.
The city saw its infection rate jump from 100 per 100,000 to 286.
In Newcastle, the rate leaped from 268 to 435.
Coronavirus outbreaks on university campuses could be the main reason for the hike in infection rates.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock outlined the need to contain these new cases on university campuses.