Covid rates in Norfolk up by a fifth - but dropping in over 60s
- Credit: PA
People over 60 in Norfolk, including vulnerable and elderly residents, have been given real hope as new figures showed Covid rates are falling among those groups.
While rates in the county have increased by almost one-fifth, they have dropped in the age groups which have so far been included in the vaccine roll-out.
It is having a significant impact in care homes, where the number of cases and isolations have plummeted.
Countywide figures remain below the England and eastern region averages, while cases in those aged 60 and above have fallen.
The number of people with Covid-19 being treated in Norfolk's hospitals has fallen, while the number of outbreaks, including in care homes, schools and business has also dropped.
The vaccine roll-out is continuing at speed - data released on Thursday showed 65.2pc of the adult population in Norfolk and Waveney have received a first dose, while 6.3pc have had a second dose.
Figures on coronavirus case rates for the seven days up to last Friday (April 26) showed Norfolk Covid-19 rates went up to 37.8 cases per 100,000 people from 31.9 cases per 100,000 over the previous seven days.
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That was an increase of 18.3pc, although it remains below the England average of 54.9 cases per 100,000 people and the Eastern region average of 37.8 cases per 100,000.
Cases went up by just over 64pc in North Norfolk, from 13.4 cases per 100,000 people to 21.9 cases per 100,000.
But they fell by 30pc in Great Yarmouth, down from 20.1 cases per 100,000 to 14.1 cases.
In Breckland, which has seen an outbreak at Wayland Prison, cases were up 35.8pc, from 57.9 cases per 100,000 people to 78.6.
Norwich saw case rates up from 33.4 per 100,000 to 37.7, South Norfolk increased from 14.2 to 16.3 and Broadland went from 33.6 to 42.1.
There was hardly any change in West Norfolk, with just a 1.6pc increase from 42.3 cases per 100,000 to 42.9.
There were 23,620 tests done, compared to 23,736 the week before.
And the number of people with coronavirus being treated in Norfolk's hospitals is falling.
As of the end of Wednesday (March 31), there were 16 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 in Norfolk's hospitals, three of whom were in critical care.
That was down from 31 a fortnight ago and the lowest figure since October 6 last year.
On that date, there were nine patients with Covid-19 being treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.
Statistics also showed that no patients with coronavirus were admitted to any Norfolk hospitals on March 24 and 25 - the last time that happened was on October 4 last year.
In terms of patients with Covid-19 who were in intensive care, the March 31 figure of three was well down on the number of people who were on ventilators two months ago. That figure hit a record high of 62 on January 27.
The James Paget has not had a mechanical ventilator bed occupied by a Covid-19 patient since March 12 and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital since March 18.
But there have been further deaths.
The most recent at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was reported on Thursday (April 1), a man in his 90s with underlying health conditions.
The number of outbreaks - defined as two or more linked cases - fell by more than 30pc. They dropped from 126 to 88.
She said: "We have seen a very positive response from the vaccine with a significant reduction in the infection rate.
"We have seen reductions in staff absence and isolation.
"We have seen no large-scale outbreak; a couple of homes have seen residents testing positive but remaining asymptomatic. It has not spread around the home like it did pre-vaccination."
Raj Sehgal, owner and managing director of ArmsCare in West Norfolk, said isolation levels had dropped to virtually zero in the wake of the vaccine rollout.