Coronavirus rates go up in every district across Norfolk
- Credit: PA
Coronavirus case rates have risen in every district in Norfolk, new statistics have revealed, with an overall county rate increase of more than 66pc.
Statistics provided by Norfolk County Council show that, for the seven days leading up to Friday, June 11, there were 18 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in Norfolk, compared to 10.8 per 100,000 the week before.
However, that remains below the East of England average of 34.6 cases per 100,000 and the England average of 72.7 per 100,000 - up 42.9pc and 52.2pc on the previous seven days.
And because rates in Norfolk have been so low, a comparatively small number of new cases can trigger a large percentage increase.
The highest case rates were in Norwich (23.5 per 100,000 people) and Broadland (22.9 per 100,000).
The Norwich rate was up 135.7pc on the 10 cases per 100,000 in the week up to Friday, June 4, while Broadland was up 50pc on the 15.3 per 100,000 that week.
South Norfolk's rate doubled from 9.2 cases per 100,000 to 18.5 per 100,000, while North Norfolk's went up by 50pc, from 7.6 per 100,000 to 11.4,
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Great Yarmouth's case rates went up just under 67pc from six cases per 100,000 to 10.1 cases per 100,000, while there was a 56.3pc rise in KIng's Lynn and West Norfolk, up from 10.6 cases per 100,000 to 16.5,
In Breckland, the rate increase from 15 per 100,000 to 19.3 was a 28.6 increase.
The average number of daily new cases in the past seven days was 21.1, compared to 19 for the previous seven days - an 11.3pc increase.
The total number of people tested for Covid-19 in the past week is 24,807, compared to 23,372 for the previous week - a rise of just over six per cent.
As of Tuesday, June 15, there was one person in hospital, who was in critical care.
In terms of outbreaks - defined as two or more linked cases, that fell slightly.
There are currently 38 open outbreaks in Norfolk, compared to 40 seven days ago - a 5pc drop.
Across care providers there are for open outbreaks, compared to three a week ago.
Across businesses and workplace settings there are 17 open outbreaks, compared to 16 a week ago.
And in schools and colleges, there are 15, compared to 19 the week before - a drop of just over 21pc.
Covid-19 cases are "rising exponentially" across England driven by younger and mostly unvaccinated age groups, according to scientists tracking the epidemic.
A study commissioned by the government found infections have increased 50pc between May 3 and June 7, coinciding with the rise of the Delta coronavirus variant, which is now dominant in the UK.
Data from nearly 110,000 swab tests carried out across England between May 20 and June 7 suggests Covid-19 cases are doubling every 11 days, with the highest prevalence in the North West and one in 670 people infected.
The experts from Imperial College London said their findings show a "rapid switch" between the Alpha (Kent) variant, which first appeared in the UK in September 2020, and the Delta variant in the last few weeks, with the latter accounting for up to 90pc of all coronavirus cases.
But they stressed that the country is in a much different position than autumn last year when an exponential growth triggered a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Stephen Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial and one of the study authors, said: "Prevalence is increasing exponentially and it is being driven by younger ages.
He added: "And it appears to be doubling every 11 days.
"Clearly that is bad news... but the key thing to point out here is that we are in a very different part of the epidemic in the UK and it is very difficult to predict the duration of the exponential phase."
The scientists said their findings suggest the imminent expansion of the vaccine programme to those aged 18 and above "should help substantially to reduce the overall growth of the epidemic".
Prime minister Boris Johnson this week announced a delay to the final step of lifting coronavirus restrictions amid concerns over rising rates.
Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor said the prime minister had no choice but to delay the final step of easing Covid restrictions.
He said: “I fully understand that many people and businesses will be disappointed at this delay to the final step of easing restrictions and I hope that delay won’t be for too long.
“We want our economy to be opened up more, especially as we come into the summer months that are so important for Norfolk’s tourism industry.
“However, the government has always said it would follow data, not dates and on that basis, I can’t see that the prime minister had any alternative but to pause. Although Norfolk’s cases remain low, Delta variant cases are rising.
“The proposed month’s breathing space will enable more people to get vaccinated, which improves our long-term prospects of returning to a more normal life.
“It’s essential to get vaccinated when you are offered it. Also please keep following the advice – hands, face, space, regular lateral flow testing to reassure relatives, friends and colleagues.”
Earlier this week, Norfolk public health bosses said the Delta variant (also known as the Indian variant) made up the majority of Covid-19 cases which have been sequenced in five of the county's seven districts - Broadland, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, North Norfolk and South Norfolk.