An area of Gwent which was the first area of Wales to go into local lockdown last September now has the lowest Covid-19 case rate in the whole of the UK.

The current rolling seven-day case rate in Caerphilly County Borough up to June 6 – the latest date published by Public Health Wales - is just 2.8 cases per 100,000 people.

Back in September, the area had the highest rolling case rate on 95.0 per 100,000 people in the week up to September 6, the day before lockdown was announced.

This was far higher than the second-highest case rate in Wales, which was Merthyr Tydfil, which had 53.0 cases per 100,000 people. Here we look at the borough’s journey from highest case rate and first local lockdown to the current situation of not only the lowest case rate in Wales but the UK as a whole.

South Wales Argus: h showing Caerphilly covid case rates according to Public Health Wales data.

Covid-19 case rates according to Public Health Wales

THE local lockdown for Caerphilly was announced on the evening of September 7, and came into force 24 hours later at 6pm on September 8. Pubs and restaurants were still allowed to open, but there was no entry in or out of the borough unless for ‘essential reasons’ such as work, school or medical aid.

South Wales Argus: The Covid-19 case rate for Wales for the week Caerphilly entered local lockdown

The Covid-19 case rate for Wales for the week Caerphilly entered local lockdown

The weekly case rate after the lockdown was introduced (the week up to September 13) jumped to 118.7 per 100,000 people – with 215 new cases. This was the second-highest number of cases that week, with 253 new cases found in Rhondda Cynon Taf, where there was a huge jump in the rolling case rate of 104.9 per 100,000 people, compared with 48.9 the previous week.

Rhondda Cynon Taf would be the next area to enter a local lockdown, which rapid testing for asymptomatic people also piloted in the area.

Back to Caerphilly and there was a significant drop in the case rate for the period of September 14-20 with a rate of 67.4 per 100,000 and 122 new cases. It was still a high case rate, but much lower than the previous week. Many other areas of Wales saw larger increases, adding credence to the idea that local lockdowns can be effective.

The week of September 21-27 saw another drop in the case rates in Caerphilly, with 98 new cases and a case rate of 54.1 per 100,000 population. Ten other Welsh local authorities had higher case rates, led by Blaenau Gwent with 280.6 cases per 100,000 population.

But this trend was reversed the next week - September 28-October 4 - when there were 120 new cases in Caerphilly, a rate of 66.3 per 100,000, the 13th highest in Wales.

And the following week saw a large spike in cases, with 233 new cases and a rate of 128.7 per 100,000. But, with the second wave now very much on the rise across Wales and the UK, this still placed Caerphilly as 11th out of Wales' 22 local authorities for cases rates.

The following week - October 12-18 - saw 313 new cases in Caerphilly; a rolling case rate of 172.9. At this point Cardiff had the Wales' highest rate, with 333.1 cases per 100,000 and 1,222 new cases. Caerphilly had the eighth-highest case rate at this point.

October 19-25 saw yet another increase in cases and case rates for Caerphilly – with 502 new cases and a rate of 277.2 cases per 100,000. The sixth highest in Wales. On October 23, Wales entered a firebreak lockdown, which lasted until Monday, November 9.

October 26 – November 1 continued the increase with 631 new cases, putting the case rate at 348.5 – meaning Caerphilly remained the sixth-highest in Wales.

November 2-8 saw 508 new cases and a rate of 280.0 per 100,000. Caerphilly had been consistently been the sixth-highest local authority for case rates for a few weeks now.

November 9-15 saw lower new cases with 460 and a drop to 254.0 cases per 100,000 population. But falling rates across Wales meant Caerphilly in fact had the fifth-highest case rate in Wales.

November 16-22 saw cases rise again to 490 and a case rate of 270.6 per 100,00. Caerphilly remained as the area with the fifth-highest rate in Wales.

Another increase in cases between November 23-29 saw the number at 539 with a case rate of 297.7. However, the borough moved to eighth highest case rate in Wales.

November 30-December 6 saw a large increase in cases with 913 and a case rate of 504.2 per 100,000. Five other local authorities having higher case rates.

December 7-13 saw 1,434 new cases and a rate of 791.9 cases per 100,000 population, the seventh highest in Wales.

December 14-20 saw 1,426 new cases and a rate of 787.5 cases per 100,000 population, staying at the seventh highest in Wales. On December 19, Wales entered a national lockdown.

December 21-27 saw 927 new cases and a rate of 511.9 cases per 100,000 population. The authority moved further down the table to 10th highest cases.

December 28-January 3 saw 880 new cases in Caerphilly, with a rate of 486.0. The authority slipped down to 11th highest cases in Wales.

In the first full week of 2021 – January 4-10, there were 630 new cases and 347.9 cases per 100,000 case rate. Again, this was the 11th-highest case rate in Wales.

January 11-17 saw 443 new cases and a rate of 244.7 per 100,000. This was the lowest the case rate had been for Caerphilly since September. The authority moved down a place to 12th highest case rates.

January 18-24 saw another drop in case rates for Caerphilly, with 300 new cases and a rate of 165.7, the eighth highest in Wales.

January 25-31 continued the decrease, with 260 new cases and a rate of 143.6 – the fifth highest in Wales.

Throughout January, cases and case rates dropped, but saw Caerphilly climb back up the case rates table as other authorities saw fewer cases too.

February 1-7 saw 169 new cases in Caerphilly and a case rate below 100 for the first time since the borough entered a local lockdown – with 93.3 cases per 100,000 population. This also pushed Caerphilly down to 14th highest case rate in Wales.

February 8-14 saw 151 new cases and a drop to a case rate of 83.4 cases per 100,000 population, with nine local authorities having a higher case rate.

February 15-21 saw 163 new cases, a slight rise on the previous week, and a case rate of 90.0 cases per 100,000 population – placing Caerphilly sixth in the highest case rates.

February 22-28 saw 139 new cases and a rate of 76.8 cases per 100,000. This was a decrease on previous weeks but placed Caerphilly at the third highest case rate in Wales, behind Gwynedd and Conwy.

As we started March Caerphilly recorded fewer than 100 new cases in a week for the first time since August 2020, with 93 new cases in the week of March 1-7. This brought the case rate to 51.4 cases per 100,000 for March 1-7 and took the authority down to seventh highest case rate.


March 8-14 continued this decrease in cases – with 86 and a case rate of 47.5 per 100,000. It pushed Caerphilly to ninth highest rates in Wales.

March 15-21 saw 81 new cases and a rate of 44.7 cases per 100,000. The county borough remained in the ninth-highest spot.

March 22-28 saw a big drop in cases, with 44 new cases and a rate of 26.0 – one of the lowest seen for the area. Caerphilly also slid further down the case rates table to 12th.

March 29-April 4 saw ees just 19 new cases and a case rate of 10.5. As a result, the case rate in Caerphilly was 19th-highest in Wales.

April 5-11 saw 18 new cases and the case rate drop below 10 for the first time in months – standing at 9.9. This was the 17th-highest case rate in Wales.

April 12-18 saw 15 new cases and a rate of 8.3. This put Caerphilly up to 13th highest case rate in Wales, as cases across Wales were on the decrease.

April 19-25 saw 16 new cases – the first increase in cases since February – and a case rate of 8.8. Eight local authorities had a higher case rate than Caerphilly at this point.

April 26-May 2 saw another increase in cases to 22. The 12.1 case rate put Caerphilly at the sixth highest in Wales. It was also the first week that an area in Wales recorded no Covid-19 cases, with Denbighshire having no positive cases.

May 3-9 saw a decrease in cases to 15 and a case rate of 8.3, putting Caerphilly at ninth-highest.

May 10-16 saw eight new cases recorded in the county borough; a rate of 4.4. Only four local authorities saw lower case rates than Caerphilly at this point.

May 17-23 saw a rise in cases to 19. The 10.5 case rate puts Caerphilly at sixth highest case rate in Wales.

May 24-30 saw another drop in cases, with four recorded and a case rate of 2.2. Only two local authorities recorded lower case rates.

South Wales Argus: The covid-19 case rates for local authorities in Wales between May 30 and June 6.

The Covid-19 case rates for local authorities in Wales between May 30 and June 6.

This brings us to the latest figures of May 31-June 6 with five new cases and a rolling rate of 2.8 – while higher than the previous case rate, it is the lowest in Wales.