Coronavirus rates are climbing across south Essex again, with more than 2,000 cases reported across the region in the past week.

Southend recorded the highest number of cases with 533, while Thurrock (522) and Basildon (513) followed closely behind.

There has been a spike in infections in Rochford, where cases have risen to 319.

Castle Point meanwhile recorded 267 cases – an increase of 40 per cent from the week before.

With cases rising in each district and borough, localised areas have seen infection rates climb significantly.

15 areas have now been highlighted purple on the Government’s hotspots map, meaning rates are now above 400 cases per 100,000 people and among the highest in the country.

Here’s how many cases were recorded in those 15 areas in the week ending September 8, with their localised infection rates in brackets:

  • Chalkwell - 42 cases (403.9)
  • West Leigh - 40 cases (22.9)
  • Ashingdon - 34 cases (410.7)
  • Rayleigh North West - 44 cases (478.3)
  • Rayleigh South West - 46 cases (518)
  • Wickford West - 30 cases (410.3)
  • Eversley - 31 cases (403.4)
  • Benfleet Appleton - 31 cases (471.1)
  • Benfleet North - 35 cases (442.4)
  • New Thundersley - 33 cases (426.1)
  • Hadleigh North - 31 cases (511.2)
  • Corringham North and London Gateway - 29 cases (427.9)
  • Orsett, Bulphan and Horndon on the Hill - 24 cases (403.8)
  • Stifford Clays - 49 cases (500.5)
  • Grays Chafford Gorges and Orsett Road - 42 (444.7)

It comes as new research as found coronavirus infections were rising exponentially among five to 17-year-olds in September, coinciding with the start of the autumn school term in England.

The findings from the React-1 study also support the need for vaccine boosters, with a higher prevalence of double jabbed people testing positive within three to six months of their vaccination.

Researchers say it is important the vaccination programme maintains high coverage and reaches children and unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated adults, to reduce transmission and associated disruptions to work and education.

The study, conducted by Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori between September 9 and September 27, suggests one in 120 people were infected, although the prevalence appears to be remaining stable overall.

According to the data, the infection rate is growing among those aged under 18, and falling among those aged 18-54.

However, relatively few schoolchildren aged five to 17 have been vaccinated in the UK, though single doses are now being offered to those aged 12 years and over.