Covid patients in Norfolk hospitals down to pre-Christmas levels

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

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

The number of patients with coronavirus in Norfolk's hospitals is now back down to the levels they were at just before Christmas, the county's director of public health has said.

And Dr Louise Smith said the falling number of admissions, coupled with a decline in the number of Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes were reasons for optimism.

In the seven days leading up to Saturday, February 13, there had been 1,011 positive coronavirus cases in Norfolk, 753 fewer than over the previous week.

That means the seven day incidence rate for Norfolk was at 111 cases per 100,000 people, a drop of 83 compared to the previous week.

As of Tuesday, February 16, there were 318 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 being treated in the county's hospitals, 143 fewer than the week before.

While deaths in hospital increased by 50, Dr Smith said she was confident the weeks ahead would see that number fall, both in hospitals and in care homes.

The number of outbreaks and other care settings is down 29 on last week, with 146 current outbreaks, defined as where there are two or more linked cases.

Most Read

Dr Smith said of the overall figures: "I am clear that the numbers are going down quite rapidly.

"The number of patients with coronavirus in hospitals are now back to the where we were just before Christmas.

"I am clear that we are now seeing reductions in the number of cases in hospitals and in intensive care units.

"Deaths in hospitals are now coming down, while the lengths of stays in intensive care units is getting longer.

"We are also seeing the number of outbreaks in care homes coming down and that will be associated with a reduction in the number of deaths."

Dr Smith said the final few homes where vaccinations could not previously be done because of outbreaks were now getting their jabs.

The number of outbreaks in schools and colleges has dropped by two in the past week and now stands at 39.

And there are two fewer outbreaks in Norfolk businesses, with 65 compared to the 67 the previous week.

Surge testing begins in Diss and Roydon on Friday, amid concerns over South Africa variant cases in Norfolk, but Dr Smith has described that as "precautionary".