COVID-19 case numbers in West Dunbartonshire are rising again for the first time in a month.

But cases and infection rates in the area remain lower than at any time since last summer – and are also significantly lower than the Scottish average.

According to official data released by Public Health Scotland (PHS), there were 19 confirmed cases in West Dunbartonshire in the seven days to Tuesday, April 20 – the most recent date for which figures were available as this article was published.

That gives a positivity rate of 21.4 cases per 100,000 people – the standard measure used to indicate the prevalence of the disease in council areas across Scotland.

That compares to 14 cases, and a rate of 15.7 per 100,000 people, for the week to April 19, and just 12 (13.5 per 100,000) for the week to April 18.

The latest PHS data indicates that there were four confirmed cases in the Leven neighbourhood, three in Bonhill and three in Kilpatrick in the week leading up to April 20.

Every other neighbourhood in West Dunbartonshire had fewer than three confirmed cases – the point at which PHS stops publishing individual case numbers to protect patients' confidentiality.

Case numbers and infection rates in the area are also vastly lower than their 2021 peak – when 203 cases were confirmed for the week ending February 13, an infection rate of 228.3 per 100,000 people.

The West Dunbartonshire numbers for the week to April 20 are also significantly lower than for Scotland as a whole, where there were 27.6 confirmed cases per 100,000 people for the same seven-day period.

According to that measure, West Dunbartonshire is ranked 17th highest of all Scotland's 32 council areas – but for the previous three rolling seven-day periods, West Dunbartonshire was 21st in the rankings.

Two months ago, for the week to February 24, West Dunbartonshire had the second-worst Covid rate in Scotland, behind only Falkirk.

West Dunbartonshire Council leader Jonathan McColl said: "We cannot be complacent. Every time a sharp fall is reported, there are some in our communities who relax too much and start taking risks.

"At that point we then see numbers spiking again, undoing everyone’s hard work."

Meanwhile, according to PHS data on vaccination rates, 46,534 people in West Dunbartonshire – 63.5 per cent of the area's population – had received their first dose of one of the country's approved Covid-19 vaccines by Thursday, April 22.

More than one in five residents – 15,037 people, or 20.5 per cent of the local population – had received their second dose by the same date.

Those figures compare with 49.8 per cent (first dose) and 15.9 per cent (second dose) in Glasgow, and 69.1 per cent (first dose) and 28.5 per cent (second dose) in Argyll and Bute.

Across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the figures were 56.4 per cent (first dose) and 18.3 per cent (second dose).