There were no coronavirus related deaths in North Devon and Torridge between May 23 and May 29, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It is the first time a death linked to the virus has not been recorded locally in either a hospital, private home, care home or other communal establishment in eight weeks.

There were 33 deaths across the two districts between May 23 and 29 which were registered before June 6 and not related to Covid-19.

The ONS publishes provisional counts of the number of deaths registered every Tuesday, including deaths where ‘novel coronavirus’ is mentioned.

Coronavirus has been linked to 45 deaths across North Devon and Torridge since the onset of the pandemic. Of those 45, four occurred between May 2 and May 29.

Of the deaths registered, 23 have occurred in hospital and 18 in care homes, with four deaths occurring in private homes.

There have been 26 coronavirus-related deaths registered in North Devon during the eight-week period, and 19 in Torridge.

There have been no new confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Devon and Torridge in two weeks, according to Government data.

As of June 8, there have been 128 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the two districts.

In Torridge, the district has 36 confirmed cases at a rate of 52.8 cases per 100,000 people – the lowest rate of any lower tier local authority in England.

There have been 92 confirmed cases in North Devon, which has an infection rate of 95.7 cases per 100,000 people.

The number of cases has actually decreased by one since last week due to a duplicate case.

Last week it was reported that the estimated R Rate across the South West – which stretches from Cornwall to Gloucestershire – had risen to 1, but Director of Public Health for Public Health Devon, Dr Virginia Pearson, said that the R Rate rise didn’t reflect the situation ‘on the ground’ in the county.

Dr Pearson said: “The R value is an important regional barometer based on modelling data, but while it provides an estimate of ongoing transmission, it alone cannot determine the rate of growth of coronavirus and does not accurately reflect Devon’s local data on the ground.

“As such it should be treated with a little caution.

“The South West R value spans from Isles of Scilly to Bristol, and while there have been hotspots in other parts of the region that increase the R value, Devon’s figures have remained low.

“We have the fifth lowest number of recorded cases when comparing Devon to all 150 upper tier local authorities and the consistency of the numbers suggests that levels have plateaued recently.

“That’s in part due to our residents adhering to lockdown, and heeding national guidance around staying home and social distancing. We have done well in that regard, and need to keep that up.

“We continue to work closely with our Public Health and NHS colleagues to ensure the safety of our Devon residents.”