Interactive map: Covid-19 cases up 16pc in Norfolk
- Credit: Neil Didsbury
Case rates of coronavirus in Norfolk have increased by 16pc compared to last week, new figures have shown.
The increases, in all bar one of Norfolk's districts, comes as health bosses confirmed there have now been five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the county.
And people have been urged to adhere to the rules and guidance over masks, social distancing, washing hands, getting tested and having booster jabs.
For the week up to Tuesday, December 7 the Covid-19 case rate for Norfolk was 423.5 cases per 100,000 people, up 16pc on the 365 per 100,000 the week before.
That was below the 557.5 per 100,000 in the East of England and the 507.7 per 100,000 in England.
Rates were highest in Broadland, where case rates increased by a fifth, from 394.1 per 100,000 to 473.
But Norwich saw the highest percentage increase of 35.2pc, up from 333.4 cases per 100,000 to 450.8 per 100,000.
North Norfolk, where the first local Omicron variant case was identified at the end of November, saw a 30.7pc increase, from 356.6 cases per 100,000 to 465.9.
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North Walsham is a particular hot-spot, with 147 cases in the seven days up to Tuesday, December 7.
There was a 21.5pc increase in Breckland, from 369.5 cases per 100,000 to 448.8, while Great Yarmouth saw a case rate increase of just over 6pc, from 383.1 to 406.3 cases per 100,000.
Rates were up 12pc in South Norfolk, from 320.8 cases per 100,000 to 359.3.
But there was a fall of almost 7pc in King's Lynn and West Norfolk, from 400.7 cases per 100,000 to 373.6.
The average number of daily new cases in the past seven days is 540.1, compared to 521.3 for the previous week, an increase of 3.6pc.
The total number of people tested for Covid-19 in the seven days up to Saturday, December 4 is 47,215, compared to 43,052 for the previous week - an increase of nearly 10pc.
As of Thursday, December 9, there were 66 people in Norfolk's hospitals, three of whom were in critical care.
Case rates are expected to increase further, with early evidence suggesting the Omicron variant is more transmissible.
As of Monday, December 6, there were two cases in North Norfolk, one case in Great Yarmouth, one case in Norwich and one case in South Norfolk.
Further to the confirmed cases, Norfolk had 12 suspected cases where further testing is taking place.
King's Lynn and West Norfolk have three suspected cases, as do Norwich and Breckland.
Great Yarmouth has two further suspected cases. South Norfolk has one.
Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk’s director of public health, said: “We note that the UK Health Security Agency has announced a total of five cases of Covid-19 linked to the Omicron variant have been identified in Norfolk since the beginning of November.
The individuals affected will be contacted directly by Public Health Authorities.
"If you are identified as a potential contact of a suspect Omicron variant case, Test and Trace will inform you of this and advise you accordingly.
"Anyone who has travelled to red listed countries, such as South Africa, is asked to test for Covid and self-isolate on return to the UK.
"Those who feel unwell, regardless of travel history, should also self-isolate and get tested.
"The best way to protect yourself and to protect others is to continue practicing the basic precautions we’ve all learned over the past 20 months: wash your hands, wear a face covering, socially distance, continue to get tested regularly and above all, get vaccinated.
"As the country now adopts additional measures under the government’s Plan B, I would urge everyone to follow the new guidance, wear a mask, work from home where they can and to take all reasonable steps to reduce their risk of catching Covid."