CASE rates in the North-East have continued to fall across all age groups. 

The biggest drop was in north-east England, where the rate stood at 181.7 per 100,000 people in the week to November 29, down from 286.6 in the previous week.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, the rate dropped from 284.2 to 181.2.

Here's everything else you need to know from the last 24-hours:

  • Hundreds more people die from Covid

A further 414 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 60,113.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 76,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

As of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 14,879 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,674,134.

Breakdown of cases in our area: County Durham: 19,538, was 19,450; Darlington: 3,423, was 3,404; Gateshead: 7,874, was 7,847; Hartlepool: 4,022; Middlesbrough: 5,708, was 5,665; Newcastle: 15,884, was 15,824; North Tyneside: 6,932, was 6,851; North Yorkshire: 13,576, was 13,469; Northumberland: 8,681, was 8,589; Redcar and Cleveland: 4,613, was 4,577; South Tyneside: 5,896, was 5,841; Stockton: 7,721, was 7,668; Sunderland: 11,222, was 11,55; York: 5,695, was 5,678.

  • Only one North-East hospital named in first roll-out of Covid vaccine

Only one hospital in the North-East has been named among 50 across the UK as a vaccination "hub" in the first phase of the Covid jab roll-out.

Initial NHS data confirmed that one hospital, run by the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will take part in the first phase from next week.

But Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Simon Clarke has today promised the Government will "reach all parts" of the UK in time. Read the full story here.

  • 100k people pledge to help Hartlepool kids in need as donation website snowballs

A North-East shopping centre has taken its giving tree online after lockdown meant customers could not help children in need - but it soon gained traction from around the world.

Hartlepool Giving Tree was set up by Middleton Grange Shopping Centre manager Mark Rycraft ten years ago but has been taken online in the face of Covid. The idea is simple - take a tag off the tree and buy a present for the person it describes.

Whilst speaking to The Northern Echo, the number of pledges ticked over 100,000, giving Mr Rycraft "goosebumps". Read the full story.

  • Campaigns say mental health crisis a 'time bomb'

Mental health campaigners have expressed concern about the "mental health time bomb" that could cause a "winter of discontent".

After experiencing two national lockdowns, many have had to isolate themselves away from the world, due to social distancing and social shielding.

With these measures in place many have felt that they are missing out on social contact that they once took for granted. Read the full report.

  • NHS warns facilities for Leyburn area are 'over capacity'

Major concerns have been raised over healthcare provision in a rural area after the NHS revealed its facilities were operating “above optimum capacity” and could not cope with extra patients from new housing.

NHS North Yorkshire clinical commissioning group has issued the warning in response to a proposal by Yorvik Homes to build 103 two, three and four-bedroom houses and 24 bungalows off Moor Road, Leyburn, which would be the largest housing development in the market town for many years. Read more by clicking here.