As of this week, lockdown restrictions across England have been eased as the country takes its first step on the government’s road map.

In Wiltshire, case rates have risen slightly from the previous week, however, public health director Kate Blackburn said this was expected.

“It is a helpful reminder, that while we are in a better place Covid-19 is still very much here,” she said.

Kate Blackburn Picture by Alice Smith

Kate Blackburn Picture by Alice Smith

“With more people allowed to be in contact with each other it is very likely that we’ll see an uptick in cases, but hopefully the majority will continue to keep their distance when they meet outside.”

Last week Mrs Blackburn urged caution as results loosen not to become complacent.

Here are five updates on the spread of coronavirus in Wiltshire:

Case rates

In the last seven days, 146 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Wiltshire compared to 136 in the previous week.

This means the current case rate per 100,000 people stands at 29.2 which is below the England average of 56.

Last week, the same figure was 27.2 per 100,000 but public health director Kate Blackburn said this fluctuation in case numbers is to be expected.

“Obviously we’re keeping a very close eye on it and making sure we haven’t got any particular hotspots across the county,” she said.

Seven day infection rates in Wiltshire from official government website

Seven day infection rates in Wiltshire from official government website


Up to March 12 in Wiltshire, there have been 826 deaths with Covid-19 included on the death certificate.

This means that a further 12 people have died as a result of the virus from last week’s figures.

The mortality rate in Wiltshire now stands at 165.2 per 100,000. A figure below the national average of 225.1.

Care homes

In the week ending March 14, 12 new care homes in Wiltshire reported new Covid cases. In the previous two weeks, the same figure was nine and 12, meaning that the numbers have remained broadly static.

It is anticipated, Mrs Blackburn said, that this level of cases will remain due to the amount of testing that is carried out in care homes.

“Rates of resident and staff cases are remaining at low levels across all of our care homes,” she said.

“Very sadly, we have seen three Covid-19 mortalities in the care homes this week.”


The council is currently supporting 17 educational settings with confirmed cases of Covid-19.

This means that 361 pupils and 23 staff are self-isolating as a result of these cases.

Mrs Blackburn added that the public health team was waiting on confirming PCR tests from five of those schools.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 through a lateral flow test will then be asked to take a PCR test to confirm the outcome.

It was noted that if a negative result comes back from a PCR then the school bubble will be able to return to the classroom.


Confirmatory PCR testing was yesterday reintroduced by the government for LFT testing, even if done at an assisted site.

Additionally, the community testing sites in Wiltshire will this week move to a collection model with only Devizes staying open as a testing site.

More on this to follow.