Norfolk Covid latest: 127 in hospital and 69 outbreaks
- Credit: Brittany Woodman/Sonya Duncan
The number of people being admitted to Norfolk’s hospitals with coronavirus is continuing to rise, up to 127 from 107 a week ago.
And that rise has prompted a fresh plea from health bosses and council leaders in the county for people to make sure they stick to the lockdown restrictions.
They say that, while news of a potential vaccine is encouraging, people must not let their guard down - or the virus will spread further.
The rate of the virus in Norfolk has increased slightly over the past seven days - up from 92 cases per 100,000 to 100 per 100,000.
The number of outbreaks in care homes has increased from 35 to 39. An outbreak is defined as where two or more people have tested positive for Covid-19.
There are also 15 outbreaks in schools and colleges, up on the 10 last week, while there are 15 in business settings, up on eight last week.
However, none of the outbreaks in businesses are on the same sort of scale as those which have happened at food processing factories in the county in the past.
And there have been no new cases at Cranswick Country Foods in Watton or at Snack Creations in Great Yarmouth, where 256 and 25 people, respectively, had tested positive.
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The areas in Norfolk with the biggest rates are Great Yarmouth (165 per 100,000) and King’s Lynn (134 per 100,000), but, as reported, the rates in South Norfolk (86 per 100,000), Broadland (116 per 100,000) and North Norfolk (46 per 100,000) have all increased.
Rates have, however, fallen in Breckland (down from 118 per 100,000 to 76) and Norwich (down from 91 per 100,000 to 84 per 100,000).
Dr Louise Smith, director of Public Health said that, during the second national lockdown, it was particularly important that those still going to work or school followed the public health guidelines.
She said: “There is positive news that a vaccine is on its way but we are not there yet and it will be many weeks before we see the impact of an immunisation programme.
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“Now is not the time to become complacent because we can still catch and spread the virus, if we let our guard down.
“We are in these national restrictions because of rising rates of the virus across the country and across Norfolk.
“That means that those who are continuing to meet with others at work and school need to be particularly careful to follow the guidelines – not just when they are working or in the classroom but when they have breaks during the day and when they are leaving, or arriving on site. Keep your distance, wash your hands regularly and cover your face where it’s needed.”
Dr Smith also emphasised the need for people to isolate if they have symptoms of the virus, test positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
She said: “If you need to isolate please go home immediately and stay there. Every second that someone stays on at work, visits the shops or comes into contact with others places people at risk.
“There is support to isolate, including access to funding, food and medication. We understand that it’s hard to stay at home but in doing so you are helping to prevent the virus spreading and helping to save lives.”
Andrew Proctor, chair of the local engagement board and leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “I know people are tired and that the current restrictions are difficult, particularly in these shorter, darker days but now is not the time to give up.
“Rates of the virus are still increasing in Norfolk and it’s only by all playing our part and staying home as much as possible that we can get some more of our freedoms back.
“Anyone can get this virus, anyone can spread it and the reality is that we just don’t know how it will affect each of us. We all need to continue to work together, remember hands, face and space so we can keep each other safe and protect our loved ones and our communities.”
The estimated R rate for the East of England, as of November 6 was 1.1 to 1.4. There was an infection growth rate range of +3pc to +6pc.
That means that, on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 14 other people and the number of new infections in the East is increasing by 3pc to 6pc each day.