For some lockdown seems like only yesterday, and for others it feels like a lifetime ago.

This time last year, England was deep into lockdown number two, with PM Boris Johnson announcing that there would be a five-day relaxation of rules over Christmas.

Little did we know that an even stricter tier system was on the horizon - which meant many of us in Tier 4 were prohibited from seeing our loved ones over the festive period.

The second national lockdown, which was announced by the PM on October 31 and in effect from November 5, was ordered in England to prevent a "medical and moral disaster" for the NHS, as case numbers and deaths soared.

Different approaches were taken last autumn to stop the rate of infection as winter loomed, with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the 11th hour of 2020 and into 2021 showing hope on the horizon.

But how do case - and death - rates differ now in Hertfordshire, one year on?

Here's a round-up of the coronavirus picture in our towns, districts and boroughs.

North Herts

People across North Hertfordshire - which includes the towns of Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston - were, this time last year, preparing to emerge from the second lockdown, jokingly dubbed Lockdown 2.0, and into Tier 2 restrictions.

From November 15 to November 21, 2020, the district had 100 cases per 100,000 people. This equated to 133 recorded cases, down 73 from previous week.

On this day last year, North Herts had seen a total of 1,413 cases since statistics were first recorded, and 102 COVID-related deaths

Fast forward to 2021, a staggering 689 people per 100,00 have tested positive for COVID-19 between November 14 and November 20. England's average, at the time of publication, is 450 per 100,000 people.

A total of 919 cases have been recorded in this time frame, up 191 compared with the week before.

A little over 17,000 positive coronavirus cases have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with 333 lives lost to the disease.


A year ago, Stevenage was battling a rising spike of coronavirus cases as the nation saw its averages falling.

By November 27, 2020, there were 78 confirmed cases in the borough, and the infection rate had more than halved since the peak (November 13, where 160 cases had been confirmed, and 182 people had coronavirus per 100,000), dropping to 89 cases per 100,000 people.

After November 28, cases in the borough started increasing again - even though lockdown restrictions were not due to ease until five days later.

By the end of November, 45 deaths related to coronavirus had been recorded across the borough.

Fast-forwarding to November 2021, there are 495 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in Stevenage, according to the latest data. 436 cases were reported between November 14 and November 20, an increase of 55 cases compared to the week before.

As a result, 12,898 cases have been officially recorded in the area since March 2020. As of November 12, 178 people are known to have sadly lost their lives.

St Albans District

On November 25, 2020, the Herts Advertiser reported that, in the week of November 14 to November 20, St Albans had 173 confirmed coronavirus cases, down 66 on the previous week.

Up to November 24, 2020, 1,841 accumulative cases had been recorded across the district since the pandemic began, with 117 cases per 100,000 people. The death toll sat at 143 since statistics were first recorded in March.

Now, a year on, that figure has soared, with 456 people per 100,000 testing positive for COVID-19.

In the week November 14 to November 20, 2021, 681 cases of coronavirus have been reported, a decrease of 80 compared with the previous week.

From March 2020, a grand total of 21,836 cases have been registered. Sadly, 374 have lost their lives.

Welwyn Hatfield

Back at the start of November 2020, Welwyn Hatfield’s coronavirus cases continued to rise into the start of the second lockdown.

Between November 6 and November 12, 209 cases of coronavirus were recorded, an increase of 40 compared with the previous week.

Welwyn Hatfield had 170 cases per 100,000, notably below England's average at the time.

Up to November 16, Welwyn Hatfield had seen a total of 1,474 positive COVID tests, as well as 114 coronavirus-related deaths - having only seen one death in the few months prior.

In 2021, 561 cases per 100,000 have been reported across Welwyn Hatfield between November 14 and November 20, above England's average of 450.

Cases are on the rise - up 146, to be precise - coming in at 695 in the latest week alone. 17,532 cases have been reported between March 2020 and November 24, 2021.

293 coronavirus deaths have been registered in the area, up to November 12.

Are you surprised by the difference between COVID cases this time last year and now? Let us know in the comments.