A “rising trend” in Covid-19 cases in East Lothian has been cited by the Scottish Government as a key reason for placing the county under Level 3 restrictions along with areas such as Lanarkshire and Glasgow where infection rates are considerably higher.

So what are the latest figures for East Lothian? In the past week, there has been a 63 per cent increase in new cases in the county ­– from 68 (October 14-20) to 111 new cases (October 21-27).

This is not the direction anyone wishes to see ‘the graph’ go but it has to be put into context of a population of 107,000 people.

What cannot be overlooked or brushed aside, though, is the two further Covid-related deaths which occurred in the county in the past seven days; our thoughts go out to those families.

The total number of deaths in East Lothian involving Covid stands at 63 and the total number of recorded cases at just over 700.

The 7-day positive rate per 100,000 population ­– the best way to compare areas of differing size ­- stood at 99 for East Lothian on October 27; on October 20 it was 63.5 and at 34.6 on September 20. A rising trend, most definitely – and, for the first time, higher than neighbouring Edinburgh’s (88).

But is it right to place East Lothian in the same tier as areas such as South Lanarkshire (7-day positive rate per 100,000 population of 349) and North Lanarkshire and Glasgow (both at 310 on the same indicator)?

For those keen to see East Lothian’s hospitality sector opened up again, the First Minister did give some encouragement today, saying she hoped at “a very early stage” to “consider moving some authorities, I think East Lothian in particular and possibly Edinburgh, from Level 3 to Level 2”.

Where are the county's cases

A closer look at the locations of the new Covid-19 cases in East Lothian in the past week (to October 27) shows hotspots in the Musselburgh, Haddington and North Berwick and Gullane areas.

According to Scottish Government data on ‘neighbourhoods’, Wallyford and Whitecraig (population 6,902) had 21 cases; Musselburgh East (pop. 4,789) 9 cases and Musselburgh North (pop. 4,865) 7 cases.

Haddington South (pop 4,777) had 11 cases and Haddington North (pop 4,404) 5 cases; Gullane and Drem (pop 4,406) had 5 cases and North Berwick North (population 3,235) 7 cases while North Berwick South (pop 4,694) 6 cases.

Prestonpans West (pop. 5,666), meanwhile, had six. All these areas mentioned had a 7-day positive rate per 100,000 of 100 or above.

READ MORE: Why the Scottish Government put East Lothian in Level 3 restrictions