Which age groups have the highest Covid infection rates in Norfolk?

Do you think schools should close early for Christmas? Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Jane Barlow

The government is reported to be considering twice weekly testing for some school children in an effort to reopen the classroom doors - Credit: PA

With classrooms in England expected to be reopened next month, concerns have been growing about whether throwing open the school gates will drive up infection rates.

Throughout the pandemic, younger age groups have been seen as virus spreaders, although they are unlikely to develop serious symptoms themselves.

With the vaccine rollout gathering pace, pressure for a return to the classroom is mounting, despite Imperial College research suggesting the virus is spreading fastest among primary age groups and young people.

The government is now reported to be considering twice-weekly home testing for all secondary children in England.

But data up to February 12 shows the group with the highest rates of infection in Norfolk is still the 90+ age bracket, which is seeing rates of 278 per 100,000 people.

Given the testing programme and relative low numbers of people in that age group, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The next highest age bracket is among the 30-34 age group, where the rate is 216 per 100,000.

But among young people, the rate of infection remains relatively low. The highest rate in people aged 0-20 is in the 15-19 age bracket, where rates are at 115 per 1000 people, with all other young age groups are showing rates of below 55.

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In all age groups, rates have fallen by over 70pc since the start of the Oxford vaccine rollout on January 8.

The fastest fall so far has been seen in the 0-4 and 70-74 age groups, where rates have fallen by 86pc in that time.

Rates have fallen by at least 82pc in all older age groups, with the exception of the 75-80 bracket, which has seen rates fall by 77pc.

It’s hard to tell at the moment whether the fall in rates is down to the vaccine roll out or continuing lockdown restrictions.

Experts have predicted it will be a few more weeks before the vaccine has its own clear impact on the number of cases and hospitalisations.

The slowest fall in infection rates has been in the 40-44 age range, where rates fell by 71pc between January 8 and February 12.

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