THE Isle of Wight is not predicted to be a "hotspot" area for Covid infections by March 8, when schools could reopen.

Experts in data at Imperial College London have forecast Covid hotspots up until March 8, defining an area to be a hotspot based on cases per 100,000 population. They base it on their own model, which assumes a situation in which no change in interventions (eg local lockdowns) occur.

They consider an area to have increasing new infections if their model estimates that the reproduction number R is greater than 1 with probability of at least 90 per cent.

During the first and second week of February, the probability of the Isle of Wight having more than 50 cases per week was 100 per cent.

By February 14, the probability was down to 37 per cent.

The forecast for February 21 was 15 per cent, and that forecast falls to eight per cent for February 28, and up to March 7. March 7 data is shown on the graphics.

Data from Imperial College London, predicting Covid hotspots.

Data from Imperial College London, predicting Covid hotspots.

Schools could be set to go back on March 8.

It puts the Island as one of the safer areas, nationally.

The new data comes at a time when the Island's rolling rate has suddenly fallen.

It dipped below 100 (per 100,000 people) on Friday, and yesterday it fell to 56.4.