BASILDON now has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the country.

While England has seen more than a 30 per cent cut in new infections over the last week, new cases in Basildon continue to rise.

It has led to an official call for the borough's schools to be closed from next week.

The infection rate in Basildon has hit a new high of 290.6 after 544 new cases were confirmed in the latest seven-day period.

Echo: A map shows the worst-hit areas of BasildonA map shows the worst-hit areas of Basildon

It is the highest number of new cases recorded in the borough since the pandemic began and has seen the area enter the “top 20” most affected areas in England.

Here, we look at the areas of the borough driving the worrying increase. The figures are for the seven day period to November 25 - the most recent period available. 


Whitmore Way & Fremnells

Total cases 46 (+35.3%)

Rolling rate 492.6



Total cases 35 (+52.2%)

Rolling rate 424.4



Total cases 32 (+113.3%)

Rolling rate 413.5


Vange & Pitsea

Total cases 44 (+57.1%)

Rolling rate 510.4


Wickford Shotgate

Total cases 37 (+76.2%)

Rolling rate 448.8


Basildon Central & Pipps Hill

Total cases 22 (+37.5%)

Rolling rate 225.7


Lee Chapel South & Kingswood

Total cases 30 (+57.9%)

Rolling rate 300.9


Young people aged up to 19 make up some 20 per cent of new cases in the borough. 

In a letter sent to Essex County Council's public health director, Dr Mike Gogarty, Mr Callaghan calls for all schools to close on December 11.

He also outlines a plan for Basildon's manufacturing workers to be tested for coronavirus twice a week in a bid to keep factories working.