LATEST figures have revealed the state of play with coronavirus cases across St Helens.

They point to a decline in the rate of infection and a slight fall in the number of patients being admitted to hospital.

But the infection rate remains high.

Sadly, there continues to be deaths of some coronavirus patients at Whiston Hospital.

England remains under national lockdown until December 2.

This is what the latest data tells us.

How many patients are being treated in hospital

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was caring for 87 coronavirus patients in hospital as of Tuesday, NHS England figures show.

The data shows that the number of people being treated in hospital for Covid-19 by 8am on November 17 was down from 97 on the same day the previous week.

The number of beds at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust occupied by people who tested positive for Covid-19 decreased by -31% in the last four weeks – 28 days ago, there were 126.

The figures also show that 51 new Covid patients were admitted to hospital in St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the week to November 15.

This was down from 54 in the previous seven days.

Sadly, there continues to be deaths

Two new coronavirus deaths have been recorded at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust in the latest 24-hour period, the latest official figures show.

It means there have been 15 deaths in the past week, up from 13 the previous week.

NHS England figures show 333 people had died in hospital at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as of 5pm on Thursday (November 19).

That was an increase of two compared to Wednesday, when there were 331.

How many numbers of new cases are we seeing?

The number of recorded coronavirus cases in St Helens increased by 55 over the last 24 hours, official figures show.

Public Health England figures show that since the start of the outbreak in mid-March 7,211 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Thursday (November 19) in St Helens, up from 7,156 the same time on Wednesday.

Thursday’s update of the rolling seven-day rate of new cases of Covid-19 for every local authority area in England showed St Helens' rate stood at St Helens 271.9 cases per 100,000 people after 491 cases in seven days. That's down from a rate of 327.3 per 100,000, 591 cases.

The figures, for the seven days to November 15, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

What are health leaders saying?

Sue Forster, St Helens Borough Council’s director for public health, said the rates now are similar to our city region neighbours.

“We have all gone down extremely well,” she said. “However, these are still really high rates.

“And rates which government, before we went into lockdown, would have certainly been considering us still being in Tier 3.”

The Liverpool City Region, which St Helens is a part of, was the first area to be placed under Tier 3 restrictions on October 13 in response to surging rates and hospital admissions across the region.

Since we entered Tier 3 – the highest band of the government’s regional tiered system – infection rates and hospital admissions have been falling, with the country since going into lockdown.

But Ms Forster said the tide was already beginning to turn prior to the any of the tougher measures coming into force.

She said: “What happened in Liverpool City Region, even before we went into Tier 3, the rate had started to slightly dip, particularly in Liverpool and Knowsley, that were really high.

“And that was because there were lots of conversations about the restrictions. There was lots of media around us doing the right thing and engaging with our public.