Doubling of Covid case rate in King’s Lynn has ‘no single explanation’

King's Lynn and West Norfolk's coronavirus rate has increased. Picture: Matthew Usher

King's Lynn and West Norfolk's coronavirus rate has increased. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Archant

King’s Lynn now has the third highest rate of coronavirus cases in Norfolk - and health bosses say there is not a simple explanation for the steep increase.

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

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

The second national lockdown has started as rates of COVID-19 in Norfolk continue to increase.

There were 92.2 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to October 30, compared with 89.2 per 100,000 over the previous week.

The highest rates are in Great Yarmouth (170 - up on 126 the previous week), Breckland (118 - down on 172) and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (116).

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has gone up from 48 the previous week - more than doubling in the space of seven days.


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While outbreaks in food processing factories have contributed to the rates in Yarmouth and Breckland, there has not been such a situation in West Norfolk.

And that part of the county had a high peak - and the highest number of deaths in Norfolk - during the first wave of the virus.

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At a Norfolk County Council press conference, Dr Louise Smith, the county’s public health director, said: “I think there are concerns for all of our populations that numbers could be high.

“There was no specific or single cause identified as to why King’s Lynn had such a high peak in the first wave.

Norfolk County Council has produced posters urging people to abide by lockdown rules. Pic: Norfolk C

Norfolk County Council has produced posters urging people to abide by lockdown rules. Pic: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

“For me, the best explanation for that is that it reflects the pattern of this virus - that it is very dependent on transmission from person to person. “So, it depends when and how a new strain of infection is introduced to a local area and just that sort of random chance variation of how many people that then passes to.

“In terms of the rising rates in King’s Lynn, there is no one, single explanation.

“We are working very closely with the district council there and they’ve started doing community outreach and work to encourage people to have Covid secure places and Covid secure practices.”

Dr Smith said there were some trends in the figures and that there had been an outbreak at a school, where a “significant” proportion of the cases had stemmed from.

She said other cases were health and social care related, with cases getting picked up in hospitals. But she said: “We don’t have a single explanation of a large factory outbreak, like, for example, we’ve had from Breckland.”

Other rates in Norfolk are: Broadland 64 per 100,000, North Norfolk 30, Norwich 91 and South Norfolk 60.

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