ONLY one neighbourhood in south Essex is currently NOT considered a Covid blackspot.

The Government’s coronavirus dashboard shows Canvey Island West is the only area in the region not highlighted black – meaning the infection rate is above 1,600 cases per 100,000 people.

It has a rate 1,543 after recording 130 new cases in the seven days to January 1.

That was down 12 from the week before.

Infections continue to rise in all boroughs and districts in south Essex, with Basildon close to recording 4,000 cases a week.

It has seen a 25 per cent rise in infections in the last seven days – the highest in the region.

Here is the latest data for each borough and district for the week ending January 1.


3,953 new cases (up 753)

Infection rate: 2,101.6

Castle Point

1,840 new cases (up 484)

Infection rate: 2,032.6


1,886 new cases (up 349)

Infection rate: 2,152.3


3,489 new cases (up 395)

Infection rate: 1,908.9


3,891 new cases (up 181)

Infection rate: 2,216.7

It comes as troops are getting ready to support the NHS through the current wave of Covid-19 as NHS data shows staff absences due to Covid have risen 59% in a week.

The military said it could offer assistance to more hospitals around the UK if needed after around 200 personnel were drafted in to help the NHS in London, which has led the Omicron wave sweeping the country.

Read more >> Southend Airport responds to changes to travel testing rules

NHS England data shows 39,142 NHS staff at hospital trusts in England were absent for Covid-19 reasons on January 2, up 59% on the previous week (24,632) and more than three times the number at the start of December (12,508).

The figures suggest one in 25 (4% of) NHS staff working in acute hospital trusts are off sick or self-isolating due to Covid.

This 4% is based on NHS Digital monthly workforce data for September for acute trusts (the most recent available).

The latest data shows that in north-west England, 7,338 NHS staff at hospital trusts were absent due to Covid-19 on January 2, up 85% week-on-week from 3,966, while in north-east England and Yorkshire there were 8,788 absences, more than double the number a week earlier (4,179).

Overall, there were 82,384 NHS staff at hospital trusts in England who were absent for all sickness reasons on January 2, including self-isolation and mental health reasons, up 21% on the previous week (68,082) and up 37% from the start of December (60,136).