Coronavirus might be spreading at a low enough rate in Hertfordshire to prevent a second wave of the virus in the county, research suggests.

The Government is trying to keep the R Number, which is the number of people an infected person will pass it on to, below one.

If this is achieved, the epidemic is on track to ultimately disappear.

In Hertfordshire, research suggests the number has not been above one since the start of May and gradually dropped over the first few days of the month.

Although levelling out with some small spikes in the middle of May, the analysis calculated the estimated R Number in the county on Wednesday (May 27) – the furthest the data goes - was 0.64. 

The highest the number has been in the county was 2.40 on March 24.

Hillingdon Times:

The number gradually dropped at the start of May, research suggests

Posting the findings to crowd-sharing research platform Deckzero, the researchers said: “This approximated value is not the instantaneous reproduction number.

“However, it does bear the same unit and trending as [the instantaneous reproduction number] and thus may offer a glimpse into how might have changed during the last 14-day period.

“When cases are small, R will fluctuate more; this should not be treated as noise as the infection grows exponentially is undisrupted.”

As of Friday, May 29, a total of 2,876 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Hertfordshire, Government data shows.

The figures also now show how many people in districts and boroughs have tested positive for the virus – in Watford the number is 397, the highest in south-west Hertfordshire.

In neighbouring Three Rivers a total of 255 have contracted the virus, while in Hertsmere 390 people have tested positive as of May 29.

Meanwhile, NHS England confirmed in its latest update that a further 149 hospital patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

The health body confirmed patients were aged between 35 and 101 years old. Eleven of the 149 patients (aged 70 and 95) had no known underlying health condition. 

It brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 26,383.

No new deaths were confirmed at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust in the latest update, but it takes time for deaths to be confirmed as post-mortem examinations need to be processed and data from the tests need to be validated.