Coronavirus infection rates in Devon are falling and are currently lower than when England moved into step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Nationally, the number of new cases is increasing, with a 34.7 per cent week-on-week rise, but Devon is not seeing the same trends.

In the same period, infection rates in Devon are down 14.8 per cent to a current rate of 8.6/100,000 – which will fall further in upcoming days – with the infection rates below the 9.1/100,000 when step 2 occurred on April 12.

Rates are slightly higher than the 7.9/100,000 from May 17 when step 3 of the roadmap began – although the rise is equivalent to less than one case a day – but having risen to 10.8/100,000 in part due to a pair of outbreaks in schools, the numbers are falling again.

In the most recent week, only one person over the age of 80 in the county has tested positive, while only those aged 15-19 and 35-39 have an infection rate higher than 15/100,000.

In the week of May 22-28, only Chillington, Torcross & Stoke Fleming (6), Dartmouth (4), Teignmouth South (3), Pennsylvania & University (3), and St James’s Park & Hoopern (3), as well as Upton & Hele (3) and Preston & Shorton (4) in Torbay saw three or more cases.

And the latest figures for vaccinations show that 74.9 per cent of adults in Devon have had their first dose, while 54.7 per cent have had a second dose as well.

A spokesman for Public Health Devon, said that throughout this pandemic, positive cases of coronavirus in Devon have been, and continue to be below national averages, but that there was no magic bullet to beat coronavirus.

They added on why numbers in Devon were not rising in line with the national figure: “This is partly due to people on the whole following the public health guidance and to some degree it’s also a reflection in the way that public health authorities have acted quickly when there are outbreaks, and how they’ve worked within those settings to prevent further spread.

“It reflects as well on the effectiveness locally of testing and tracing and the resolve of their contacts to self-isolate properly.

“More latterly, just as the rest of the country, the vaccine roll-out is going well, with three-quarters of adults in Devon now had at least their first dose.  That’s having a positive impact on the numbers of people becoming seriously ill or needing hospitalisation due to coronavirus.”

They added: “There is no magic bullet to beat coronavirus.  It takes hard work by all of us, and a determination to follow the current guidance and not allow ourselves to let our guard down.  While case numbers are heading in the right direction, it’s easy for us to think that we have this beaten.  But we mustn’t – especially because of new variants that are in the UK that spread more easily between people.

“Please continue to follow the rules – especially around washing our hands, wearing face coverings when indoors in public spaces, and keeping our social distance.

“Please continue to take up the regular testing that identifies whether a person is carrying the virus unknowingly, and to self-isolate if you test positive, and please take up the vaccine when you are called to do so.”