‘Lack of discipline’: Leader hits out after town’s huge Covid surge

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller. Picture: ROSE SAPEY

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller. Picture: ROSE SAPEY - Credit: Rose Sapey

The increase in cases in Wymondham should “serve as a warning” for the rest of Norfolk, it has been claimed.

Wymondham had seen a surge in coronavirus cases. Photo: Ella Wilkinson

Wymondham had seen a surge in coronavirus cases. Photo: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

Rates of coronavirus in Norfolk went up from 100 cases per 100,000 people in the week to November 6 to 149 per 100,000 in the week to November 13, described as a “large rise”, by the county’s public health director.

But rates in Wymondham, where there have been 145 cases in the seven days up to November 13, are of particular concern.

The rates there, of 987 cases per 100,000 people in Wymondham West have made it the 24th highest rate of areas in England, while Wymondham East and Spooner Row’s 763.8 cases per 100,000 people rate places it 107th highest.

The rates have not been linked to a specific outbreak, such as a factory, suggesting it is spreading in the community.

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk said she was concerned feedback from Wymondham and elsewhere in Norfolk was that some people were not sticking to lockdown rules and making journeys which were not essential.

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John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said it should “serve as a warning to the rest of Norfolk” and was due to a “lack of discipline”, with people not isolating.

Mr Fuller said: “Within three weeks, we are up to one of the highest rates in the whole country. This should be a concern for everybody.

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“It’s particularly concerning and warning to the rest of Norfolk, I think.

“This has come bubbling up, frankly, through, dare I say, a lack of discipline. People haven’t necessarily been isolating if they have got symptoms. They haven’t been isolating if they have had a test and then need to wait for the result.

“And if they have got a result, they have not been isolating within their home and so, as a result, we are getting community infection.

“This should be a wake-up call to all of us. It’s been especially difficult to get our arms around this as it’s sort of come out of the blue, because we don’t really have the obvious forms or sources of infection.”

Mr Fuller said discipline needed to be reinstated, otherwise he was “fearful for getting out of lockdown in a good situation”, which could have a knock on effect on people being able to spend time with their families over Christmas.

Asked whether South Norfolk Council was taking action against any specific businesses or institutions which had breached restrictions, Mr Fuller said a number of “potential sources” were being followed up.

He said: “I don’t think it’s helpful to fuel speculation, rumours and innuendo flying around.

“I’d rather deal with facts before we jump to point fingers.

“This requires everyone to be disciplined, not just outside the home, but within the home.”

Dr Smith said a “significant” number of the cases were because of household spread. She urged people who were isolating needed to do all they could to isolate from other people in their homes.

MORE: Plea to stem Norfolk coronavirus cases by staying at home unless journey is essential

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