Almost 600 extra Covid cases recorded in Norfolk and Suffolk by mistake
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Coronavirus cases in East England have been revised down after an error saw one in eight positive tests recorded at the wrong location.
For six weeks this autumn students’ positive tests were recorded as being at their parents’ homes rather than the university cities where they were actually living.
It meant that the number of cases in university cities was higher than reported, while their home towns had lower than reported case numbers.
In Norfolk and Suffolk there were almost 600 fewer cases between September 1 and November than originally recorded.
There were 265 fewer cases in Norfolk and 296 fewer in Suffolk.
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However, the number of new cases is still rising - up 45pc in Norfolk last week and 28pc in Suffolk.
The correction in the data means university cities like Newcastle had hundreds more cases.
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Despite being a university city, Norwich’s overall number was down by 46, fewer than one a day, meaning it was not enough to make a difference to the infection rates.
Regionally, the North West saw an increase of 1,935 cases following the correction, while cases in East Anglia fell by 2,208.
Correcting the error, Public Health England said it would now use addresses given at the point of testing, rather than the details registered on a patient’s NHS Summary Care Record, which for students would usually be their parents’ address.
“This better reflects the distribution of cases and testing,” they said.
“However, it may give rise to differences in previously reported numbers of cases and rates in some areas.”
See also: Surge in Covid cases in Wymondham