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Concern after sudden surge in coronavirus cases in Wymondham

PUBLISHED: 08:29 18 November 2020 | UPDATED: 08:28 19 November 2020

There has been a surge in positive coronavirus cases in Wymondham. Photo: Bethany Wales

There has been a surge in positive coronavirus cases in Wymondham. Photo: Bethany Wales

Archant

Action is being taken to try to control a surge in coronavirus cases in the Wymondham area, with the public being urged to make sure they follow the lockdown restrictions.

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

Public health bosses are working with South Norfolk Council on “immediate action” to try to control the increase in cases over the past week.

There have now been 136 positive coronavirus cases in Wymondham over the seven days up to November 12 - 86 in Wymondham East and Spooner Row and 50 in Wymondham West.

That means, Wymondham West, with a rate of 881.4 cases per 100,000 people, now has the 45th highest rate in England and Wymondham East and Spooner Row a rate of 738.1 cases per 100,000 people - the 144th highest out of 6,791 areas.

In the previous week, there had been just five cases in Wymondham West and 22 in Wymondham East and Spooner Row.

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk said: “We are aware of the recent increase in coronavirus cases in the Wymondham area over the last week and we are working closely with South Norfolk Council so that immediate action is taken on the ground.

“Given the transmission taking place in the community, it is even more important that people are following the national restrictions, staying home as much as possible and isolating if they need to.

“As always, we would remind people to keep washing their hands, keeping their distance and to wear a face covering if needed.”

A spokesman for South Norfolk Council said: “The council is leafleting high footfall areas making sure that people are aware of the importance of following lockdown restrictions.

“At the same time, we are making sure that people know there is help available for those who have to self-isolate.

“We have redeployed staff from our leisure centres to help in our Help Hub and in our communities and we are also recruiting staff who will work as Covid-19 advisors, to offer help and support.

“If you live in South Norfolk or Broadland and need help or advice, relating to Covid-19 please call the Help Hub on 01508 533933.”

It has not been revealed whether any specific outbreak has triggered the surge in cases in the town.

But John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said complacency had led Wymondham to the situation, which he described as “a shock” and “a wake-up call which had truly come out of nowhere”.

Mr Fuller, speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk, said: “This is a serious outbreak and we should really be concerned about it.”

And he said people needed to abide by lockdown rules. He said: “I think we all need to be honest with ourselves as individuals. Does this really feel like a lockdown to you?”

He said it appeared “a few people had spoiled it for everybody else” and that South Norfolk Council was investigating enforcement at a “number of premises”.

There have recently been confirmed cases at both Wymondham College and Attleborough Academy.

Sapientia Education Trust last week said it had been advised by Public Health England that there were confirmed cases of Covid-19 in both schools.

Both schools remained open and pupils continuing to attend as normal unless they displayed symptoms or had been notified that they should self-isolate.

At Robert Kett Primary School in Wymondham, children in reception and year three ‘bubbles’ have been told to stay at home until November 26. About 150 children are affected.


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