'Early signs' third wave of Covid-19 is reaching Norfolk

Almost a third of adults in Norfolk and Waveney have now received both doses of the coronavirus vacc

People are being urged to get their coronavirus vaccinations amid signs the third wave is reaching Norfolk. - Credit: PA

There are early signs a third wave of coronavirus is reaching Norfolk, the county's director of public health has said.

While Covid-19 rates in Norfolk are still among the lowest in the country, Dr Louise Smith said there are about 40 cases per day - mostly among young adults who have not been fully vaccinated.

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

And, amid an expectation cases in Norfolk will now mirror the increase in the rest of the country, she urged everyone over 18 to book their first vaccination and for people over 40 to bring forward the date for their second jabs.

For the seven days up to Tuesday, June 22, there were 20.9 cases per 100,000 people - up just over 21pc on the previous seven days.

That was well below the 119.5 cases per 100,000 across England, but public health bosses have long said Norfolk is a couple of weeks behind the national picture.

Dr Smith, speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk, said Norfolk and Suffolk had some of the lowest infection rates in the country - and it had been a "big landmark" last week when not one person who had tested positive for Covid-19 was being treated in the county's hospitals.

But she said: "If I look at our data we are starting to see early signs of a rise.

"It's really likely that we are going to see the same kind of rise that we are seeing in other parts of the country."

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She said Norfolk was doing "really well" in terms of testing, contract tracing and vaccination rates.

But Dr Smith said: "We are starting to see the early signs of that third wave starting to reach Norfolk and numbers are particularly going up in young adults.

"The key message that we are putting out at the moment is that people over the age of 40 should be getting in touch and bringing their second dose appointment forward to within eight weeks of their last dose.

"But there's still quite a number of people - one third of adults - waiting to get both doses and we're trying to vaccinate all people over the age of 18.

"Cases that we're seeing in Norfolk are focused on younger people who have not been fully vaccinated, but as the third wave comes we will see more people who are unlucky enough to catch Covid in those people who have had two vaccinations."

She said the illness in those who have had two jabs was likely to be milder and less likely to require hospital treatment.

But she warned some would still become seriously ill, so it was important to keep up precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing, twice-weekly testing and washing hands.

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Norwich saw Norfolk's biggest case rate increase in the seven days up to Tuesday, June 22, up from 19.9 cases per 100,000 to 43.4 - a 118pc rise.

South Norfolk saw a 71pc increase, from 17 cases per 100,000 to 29.1,  while there was a 15pc increase in King's Lynn / West Norfolk, from 17.2 to 19.8.

However, case rates fell by 34pc in North Norfolk (from 17.4 cases per 100,000 to 11.4), by 20pc in Great Yarmouth (from 10.1 per 100,000 to 8.1), by 24pc in Breckland (from 17.9 per 100,000 to 13.6) and by 18pc in Broadland (from 17.6 per 100,000 to 14.5).

The Delta variant is now the dominant variant in Norfolk, but has not yet translated into hospital admissions.

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