As the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the UK, Widnes and Runcorn have so far managed to avoid the worst of the crisis.
Halton has one of the lowest levels of coronavirus infection in the country, with only 41 cases reported as of April 2.
Although the borough also has a relatively small population of only 128,400 people, it also has the lowest proportion of coronavirus cases in the city area.
In comparison, St Helens recorded almost three times the number of cases in Halton, despite a population less than a third larger, while Knowsley recorded almost double the number of cases with a population of only 148,500 inhabitants.
But the reason for Halton’s low caseload is unclear.
One of the reasons could be that the population adheres strictly to government rules regarding social distancing.
Police accounts on social media praised the residents of Halton for staying inside during the lockout and for observing social distancing if they were to leave home.
The borough can also benefit from not being a transportation hub, bringing people together from many different places and making it easier for the disease to spread.
Just at the top of the railway, cases of Liverpool’s coronavirus represent a much larger proportion of its population than that of Halton, and other large centers have equally high infection rates.
The population of Halton is also much more dispersed than that of Liverpool, which could facilitate social distancing in the neighborhood.
But a key difference could also be simply the number of tests that hospitals perform. Coronavirus tests are mainly done in hospitals, and some test more people than others.
Those who test more are likely to find more cases, and on top of that, testing is a priority for people with pneumonia or acute respiratory disease.
This means that places with a low number of coronavirus cases may simply have had fewer tests, either because of hospital policy or because those suffering from the virus do not have enough symptoms to require hospital treatment.