The number of new coronavirus cases has fallen in Cornwall and Plymouth over the last seven days - but Devon has seen them almost double.

Government statistics show that Cornwall's figure has dropped from 179 to 132 week-on-week, while Plymouth has seen cases more than half, dropping from 74 to 36.

But in Torbay, cases have more than doubled, from 18 to 39 – partially linked to an outbreak at a care home. And in the Devon County Council area, they have almost doubled, from 96 to 178, although 60 per cent of those cases are in Exeter, primarily linked to the university.

It makes a total of 381 new cases confirmed across the region a whole, in both pillar 1 data from tests carried out by the NHS and pillar 2 data from commercial partners. This is compared to 365 new cases in the previous week.

Of the cases recorded in the past week, 280 of them had a specimen date of between September 25 and October 1, with the majority of the other 101 cases dated occurring between September 21 and 24, although some dated back to the start of the month.


A total of 91 out of Cornwall's 132 cases had a specimen date of between September 25 and October 1, while the county's most recent case by specimen date was Wednesday this week (September 30).

While the number of cases in Devon have significantly risen, more than half of the cases are linked to students at the University of Exeter.

It is understood that at least 60 households within the city are self-isolating and following public health advice, and there is no evidence at this stage of the virus spreading into the wider community, according to Public Health teams.

But as demand for tests is rising at the university, they have invited the national Test and Trace scheme to set up a temporary Testing Centre on the Streatham campus dedicated to Exeter students and staff, which will enable them to focus their Halo resources on some targeted testing, and to develop a process to enable staff family testing.

And while there has been a rise in cases across the region from previous figures, the number of people in hospital with coronavirus has continued to remain relatively low compared to the rest of the country, and has even fallen in the South West.

There are currently 33 people in the wider region's hospital and two on ventilation, compared to 34 and three respectively last Friday.

There has not been a hospital death since September 20, which was at Cornwall's Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro - although this was not reported in NHS England's daily figures until two days later - and there were only three deaths in south west's hospitals during September.

Covid-19 cases are identified by taking specimens from people and sending these specimens to laboratories around the UK to be tested. If the test is positive, this is a referred to as a lab-confirmed case.

Confirmed positive cases are matched to ONS geographical area codes using the home postcode of the person tested.

Cases received from laboratories by 12.30am are included in the counts published that day. While there may have been new cases of coronavirus confirmed or people having tested positive, those test results either yet to reach PHE for adding to the dataset or were not received in time for the latest daily figures to be published.