WEST Oxfordshire has overtaken the city to become the county's worst affected Covid-19 area.

While case numbers in young people in Oxford have fallen back since the peaks in early July, which put the city among the top 10 in England, cases in the over 30s and rates across the rest of the county are rising rapidly.

The current weekly rate for Oxfordshire stands at 369.5 per 100,000 population, which is a 31 per cent increase on last week.

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Current case rates in the county are:

Cherwell on May 28 was 8.6 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 318.9 per 100,000

Oxford on May 28 was 26.2 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 379.8 per 100,000

South Oxfordshire on May 28 was 28.9 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 363.2 per 100,000

Vale of White Horse on May 28 was 27.2 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 378.7 per 100,000

West Oxfordshire on May 28 was 13.6 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 421.2 per 100,000

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council's director for public health, said: "Understandably, the local headlines have focused on Oxford, where rises were particularly steep earlier in the summer.

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"However, we have been keeping a wary eye on the whole of the county having seen how Oxford’s cases jumped so quickly in a short space of time in late June and early July.

"The county has been catching the city up – and we advise people in all of our market towns and villages to adjust their judgements on Covid-19 risks accordingly.

"We know that the lesson of the pandemic so far is that the virus is a formidable opponent.

"If we put ourselves in vulnerable positions, the virus will exploit this.

"The fewer people we are in close contact with as we go about our daily lives, the less chance we have of contracting the virus."

Oxford remains a Government enhanced response area, which means that anyone living, working or visiting the city can get a free PCR test at one of five walk-in locations open until at least Wednesday, August 4.

However, with rates continuing to go up across the rest of the county, residents can also book a slot for a test in Oxford Parkway, near Kidlington, Woodgreen Leisure Centre, Banbury, and Woodford Way Carpark, Witney.