May the Day of testing be with you
April 29, 2020 • Reading time 2 minutes
Published 30 April 2020
In 38 years, tomorrow will be the second time ever that my friend Pete has not celebrated May Day in Padstow. This time is due to Covid-19.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have had a total of 165 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases since the 13th of April (just over two weeks ago). With a population of 560,000, it seems unlikely that you will bump into someone infectious – less than 1 in 3,400. These cases are also spread over 3,500 km sq.
May Day attracts 30,000 people each year, so there are likely to be 8 or 9 people with the disease. Like large sporting events, it would be unsafe for it to happen this year (it is cancelled). But given Cornwall has fewer cases and more space, could some of the lockdown restrictions that need to apply in London be relaxed?
In China, they have red and green regions based on confirmed cases. The map below shows our attempt at this for England based on upper-tier Local Authority – no sign of the Red Oss in Cornwall.
Perhaps certain businesses in Cornwall could reopen earlier – travel restrictions permitting?
Of course, this all assumes there is functional testing. The 100,000 test target was missed today, although the rate of discovery has fallen significantly since the 22nd of April – the first time since the outbreak (see chart below). This means more tests and less Covid-19 – heading in the right direction, but a long way to go.