Sunderland and South Tyneside among highest coronavirus infection rates in England

Sunderland and South Tyneside have some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in England, figures have revealed.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

According to the latest data compiled by health chiefs, Sunderland and South Tyneside have had the second and third most cases, relative to population, respectively.

The numbers, which record the total number of infections up to Sunday, May 10, are due to be debated by care leaders at the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on Thursday May 21.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But a report for the CCG’s Governing Body also warned they should be treated with caution due to the nature of the current coronavirus testing regime.

A technician shows a nasal swab during a rehearsal of a COVID-19 testing session (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)A technician shows a nasal swab during a rehearsal of a COVID-19 testing session (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
A technician shows a nasal swab during a rehearsal of a COVID-19 testing session (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

It said: “These rates will continue to increase as testing becomes more widespread and hence positive cases increase.

“On this day [May 10], South Tyneside had the third highest local authority rate in England, Sunderland the second highest.

“However, this position relative to others changes daily.

“Also, there are many factors to consider when comparing areas, which makes this an unreliable measure of both the prevalence of Covid and the scale of the prevalence relative to other areas.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

According to the findings, up to May 10 Sunderland had a COVID infection rate of 477.6 per 100,000, while in South Tyneside it was 447.9.

Gateshead was the highest in the region, with 478.5, while Middlesbrough and Cumbria, which is included in the North East Integrated Care System (ICS), also had rates above 400 per 100,000.

Stockton, in Teesside, had the lowest rate of the ICS’s 13 local authority areas.

The paper, made public today (Monday, May 18), added it is important to ‘note the fast pace of changes that are being implemented in the Covid and post-Covid phases’ and data may already be out of date by the time NHS bosses meet on Thursday (May 21).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The report also referenced ‘age-standardised’ death rates from the virus, which allow better comparisons across areas, which found the figure for South Tyneside was ‘not statistically different from the total England rate’.

Cumulative cases per 100,000 to May 10

Gateshead – 478.5 Sunderland – 477.6 South Tyneside – 447.9 Middlesbrough – 446.8 Cumbria – 423.9 Newcastle – 336.1 County Durham – 327.9 Darlington – 312.5 Northumberland – 272.3 Redcar and Cleveland – 272.1 North Tyneside – 258.3 Hartlepool – 251.0

Stockton – 227.2

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.