Norfolk has seen a slight drop in Covid-19 case rates, but remains ahead of the average for England.

In the seven days leading up to Wednesday, March 23, there were 963.2 cases per 100,000 people in the county.

That was a drop of just under 5pc on the 1,011.2 cases per 100,000 over the previous seven days.

Norfolk is now below the East of England average of 988.5 cases per 100,000, but still above the England average of 880 per 100,000.

Rates fell in Breckland, Broadland, King's Lynn/West Norfolk and South Norfolk, but were up slightly in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and North Norfolk.

King's Lynn/West Norfolk, which had the highest rate the previous week, fell nearly 11pc from 1,141.2 cases per 100,000 to 1,017.6.

South Norfolk dropped 7.4pc, from 1,119.1 per 100,000 to 1,035.9, while Breckand saw a 10.1pc decrease, down to 943.7 per 100,000.

Broadland was down 4pc to 1,013.4, while North Norfolk was up from 830.1 to 867.2 - a 4.5pc rise.

Norwich went up 1.3pc, from 980.5 per 100,000 to 993.1, while Great Yarmouth increased by 1.8pc, from 781.3 to 795.4.

The average number of daily new cases in the past seven days was 1,212.4, compared to 1,318 for the previous week - an eight per cent fall.

The total number of people tested for Covid-19 in the seven days leading up to Tuesday, March 22 was 19,595, compared to 19,959 for the previous week - a 1.8pc decrease.

As of Sunday, March 27, there were 289 people with Covid in hospital, two of whom were patients in critical care.

The past few weeks have seen an increase in Covid cases across the county, following the easing of restrictions last month.

While that has not led to large numbers of people needing critical care, it has put pressure on hospitals, which have also had to deal with staff absences due to the virus.

The imminent end of free Covid tests for the majority of people means it will be difficult to predict how case rates will develop in the weeks ahead.

Eastern Daily Press: Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for NorfolkDr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health, said the change - from Friday (April 1) - would make the virus more difficult to monitor and contain.