Coronavirus cases up in Breckland, Great Yarmouth, Norwich and South Norfolk after Banham Poultry outbreak

Banham Poultry has had a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Banham Poultry has had a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

New figures have revealed the new cases of Covid-19 across Norfolk since the Banham Poultry coronavirus outbreak - with numbers noticeably up in Breckland, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and South Norfolk.

The figures, for the seven days to August 31, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Data for the most recent three days (September 1-3) has been excluded as it is incomplete and likely to be revised.

More than 100 workers at Banham Poultry in Attleborough have tested positive for the virus and Norfolk County Council has previously said Great Yarmouth, Norwich and Attleborough/Thetford are known to be places where the workforce lives.

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The new figures show that, in Yarmouth, 28 cases were recorded in the seven days to August 31 - the equivalent of 28.2 per 100,000 people. That is up on 15.1 per 100,000 in the seven days to August 24, when there were 15 cases.

The rate in Breckland went from 15 to 25, with 14 new cases, up from 21 to 35.

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In Norwich the rate jumped from 5.7 to 16.4, with 23 new cases on the eight over the previous seven days.

South Norfolk saw the rate go up from 4.3 to 10.6, with 15 new cases compared to six the week before.

Researchers at Imperial College London have predicted that there is a 20pc chance of Breckland becoming a Covid-19 hotspot and an 18pc chance of Great Yarmouth becoming one.

The researchers define a local authority to be a hotspot if weekly reported cases per 100,000 population exceed 50 and gives probabilities based on its modelling.

That modelling assumes a situation in which no change in interventions, for example local lockdowns, occur.

The rates were much lower in other parts of the county. Broadland’s is at 3.8, up from 2.3, with five new cases up from three in the previous seven days.

West Norfolk is steady at 3.3, while one new case in North Norfolk meant the rate there went up from zero to one case per 100,000.

In Mid Suffolk, the rate increased from 2.9 to 9.6, with 10 new cases compared to the three in the preceding seven days.

However, for comparison, the rates in Norfolk are still way lower than some other parts of the country.

In Bolton, 220 new cases were recorded in the seven days to August 31 - the equivalent of 76.5 per 100,000 people. This is the highest rate in England and it is up sharply from 17.4 in the seven days to August 24.

The rate in Pendle has increased from 60.8 to 71.7, with 66 new cases.

Rossendale is in third place, where the rate has jumped from 15.4 to 64.4 with 46 new cases.

Corby, Rochdale and Trafford have also seem rate increases of between 40 to 50 per 100,000 people.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that contact tracing had only been completed in half the cases of Banham Poultry workers who tested positive for coronavirus.

And a company from Essex is being brought in to redo the NHS Test and Trace work, with the county council keen to be permitted to tackle the problem locally, rather than relying on the national system.

Norfolk County Council’s director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, confirmed on Tuesday that the latest total of positive tests at the Attleborough factory had risen to 104, out of 769 results returned.

But Dr Smith had said “We are increasingly confident that this is a single outbreak of a virus that we are dealing with.

“We have good, strong evidence that working our way out from the people most clearly linked to the centre - to the staff in the cutting room to the rest of the staff - that we are seeing the numbers come down.

“We do not have evidence of this spilling out into the rest of the community and we are becoming increasingly confident of our evidence on that.

“But it will take some more days yet to be confident we are not seeing that next ring of transmission out into the households of people who are linked with Banham Poultry and that’s why one of our key messages is that continue to have mobile testing units at key sites.”

All staff at the plant, plus their households, are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have not tested positive and for 10 days if they have tested positive – households of those who have tested positive need to isolate for 14 days

Additional mobile testing units had been brought into Norfolk, to offer testing to anyone connected to the Banham Poultry site

As announced last Friday, staff who are self-isolating are being offered support, if they need it, from the Norfolk Assistance Scheme – including food and medical supplies and hardship fund payments. The number is 01603 223392.

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