Official Covid R rate STABLE but as high as 1.7 in new Delta variant hotspot

ENGLAND’S R rate has stayed the same this week as cases of the Delta variant soar by 46 per cent.

It could be as high as 1.7 in the South West and is no lower than 1.1, government scientists said today.

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Despite the R rate remaining flat the growth rate has shrunk slightly.

Last week it was between 3 and 6 and this week it is estimated to be between 3 and 5.

This means that, on an average day, the outbreak is growing by three to five per cent.

The data published by Sage comes after it was estimated that one in 440 people now have Covid in England.

This is up from last week’s figure of 520, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

It also estimated that 122,500 people in England were believed to have been infected with the virus in the last week, up from 105,000.

Infections have been rising in England due to the Delta variant, which now accounts for three in every four infections.

There have now been a total of 111,157 recorded infections of the mutation in Britain, Public Health England (PHE) said.

This is a 46 per cent increase on the week before, with around 95 per cent of all UK Covid cases found to be the Delta variant.

An extra 514 people were admitted to hospital in England with Covid up to June 21, of which 304 were unvaccinated.

It comes as:

The R rate reflects the infection spread across the country. Surge testing is still in place in some areas and everyone is encouraged to take lateral flow tests


The R rate reflects the infection spread across the country. Surge testing is still in place in some areas and everyone is encouraged to take lateral flow testsCredit: Alamy

This week an increase in infections has been seen in school year 12 and in people aged 24 and over, the ONS said.

Many people age 24 and over may still not have received a vaccine and regional experts this week said that cases are rising in areas where people haven’t had jabs.


The highest R rate in the country is currently being seen in the South West which sits at 1.3 to 1.7.

On a daily basis 1,224 people are testing positive for the virus each day in the region.

Last Monday this figure was just 503 daily new infections and on Monday 21, 746 people a day were testing positive.

The R rate reflects the spread of the virus and indicates how many people one person spreads the disease to.


An R rate below 1 is good as it means Covid patients are not passing the virus on to many more people, and the spread of the virus is slowing down.

The rise in daily infections in the South West is reflected in its R rate, which Sage today said is currently between 1.3 – 1.7 – the highest rate in the country. 

Other areas such as the North East have also witnessed a rise in cases.

For example in the last seven days Newcastle upon Tyne has seen the biggest week-on-week increase in cases, going from 130.4 to 263.9.

Newcastle’s top public health official this week revealed that most of the cases in the areas are coming from young, unvaccinated people.

Professor Eugene Milne, Director of Public Health for Newcastle said: “We know that nearly two thirds of cases (in Newcastle) are among the largely unvaccinated under-25 age group, and more than half are aged between 15-24.”

In the North East as a whole daily infections have more than doubled in the last week.

Last Monday just 413 people were testing positive for Covid-19 each day in the region.



On Monday 21 this increased to 848 daily infections and today the number of people testing positive on a daily basis stood at 1,108.

The R-rate in the North East is the second highest, between 1.2 and 1.5.

It’s followed by the Midlands and the North West, where the R rate is currently 1.2 to 1.4.

In the East of England, London and the South East, the R rate sites between 1.1 and 1.3.

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