COVID-19 cases in Reading are predicted to rise significantly by next week.

A worrying trend in rising cases across the country, including in Berkshire, has been highlighted in the interactive map devised by Imperial College London.

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The tool predicts which parts of the country have the greatest probability of seeing coronavirus cases rise above 50 per 100,000 weekly, which it classes as a 'hotspot.'

Reading Chronicle:

It models data from daily reported cases and weekly reported deaths to provide a projection as to where boroughs are heading.

The predictions assume current interventions will remain as in the area, for example lockdowns and school closures.

Currently, the map shows Reading as being in the '50 - 75 per cent' category in terms of chances of becoming a hotspot location, as predicted by the map earlier this month.

Just next week though, the map shows Reading moving up to the '75 - 100 per cent' mark.

Reading Chronicle:

Today (October 21), the tool suggests that Reading has a 74 per cent probability of diagnosing more than 100 cases per week, but as of October 25, this increases to 89 per cent.

Public Health England figures show that 1,286 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Monday (October 19) in Reading, up from 1,209 the same time on Friday.

The health body is now including Pillar 2 tests – those carried out by commercial partners – alongside Pillar 1 tests, which are analysed in NHS or PHE laboratories and which made up the first stage of the Government's mass testing programme.

Developers of the prediction tool state that an increase in cases in an area can be due to an increase in testing, as model currently does not account for this.

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Towns are categorised as either increasing, likely increasing, direction unclear, likely decreasing and decreasing.

Very few areas in the country have been deemed as anything other than increasing.

It comes as Covid cases continue to rise across the country.

To view the interactive map, click here.