North Norfolk has recorded more than 150 coronavirus deaths

Steve Blatch, corporate director at North Norfolk District Council

Steve Blatch, chief executive at North Norfolk District Council. - Credit: Archant

A total of 153 people have lost their lives to coronavirus in the North Norfolk District Council area since the pandemic began.

The figure - dated up to January 31 - was revealed in a report to the council’s cabinet, presented by chief executive Steve Blatch. 

But Mr Blatch said the total, cumulative, infection rate in the district had been one of the lowest in the country, standing at 2,536 per 100,000 people since March last year. 

Norfolk’s average over the same timeframe was 3,919 per 100,000, and the national average for England was 5,936 per 100,000. This put North Norfolk at 304 of 314 local authority areas in England. 

The district’s death rate was comparatively higher, at 145.9 per 100,000 compared to an average of 156 for Norfolk and 166 for England.

Mr Blatch said: “On this indicator North Norfolk doesn’t fare as well as a number of other authorities, being 195th out of 314 local authorities in England. This is possibly due to our older demographic.”

Mr Blatch said North Norfolk had recorded some of the country’s lowest Covid levels for much of 2020.

He said: “Up until December 14 we had never seen more than 100 cases on any day in the rolling seven day reporting system used by the government, with our highest rates recorded in mid-November, when there was an outbreak in a single setting in North Walsham.

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“However from December 14 cases both nationally and locally rose rapidly and on January 4 North Norfolk recorded 442 cases or a rate of 421.6 cases per 100,000 population when the rate for Norfolk was 505 per 100,000 and the England national rate was 680.5.” 

Mr Blatch said the rate had since fallen steadily, and as of January 26 it stood at 161.2 per 100,000, just over half the Norfolk average of 323.7.

Mr Blatch said North Norfolk should be able to look forward to a busy summer season, similar to last year when travel restrictions fueled a ‘staycation’ boom.

But he said people had to stay vigilant to keep the numbers down.

Mr Blatch said: “For the time being we urge all of our residents and businesses to continue following government advice to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS.”