Norfolk has no Covid patients in hospital for first time since August
- Credit: Archant
There are no coronavirus patients in Norfolk's hospitals for the first time since August, new data has revealed.
Fresh figures show that, as of June 22, there was nobody suffering with Covid at the Norfolk and Norwich, James Paget and Queen Elizabeth hospitals, nor at Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.
That has not been the case since August 29 last year.
At the pandemic's peak, when the second wave was at its worst on January 15 this year, that figure stood at 758.
Preventing the NHS from becoming overwhelmed has been at the very centre of the government's decision-making over the past 15 months.
It led to a delay of the June 21 'Freedom Day' - when final restrictions were due to be relaxed - amid fears over the spread of the virus' Delta variant.
But the current situation in Norfolk certainly provides cause for optimism as the nation looks ahead to the new target date of July 19.
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Nevertheless, the latest NHS England statistics show there were still 1,255 people in hospital with coronavirus on Wednesday (June 23).
Of those, 66 were in the East of England, while the North West - where the Delta strain has been more prevalent - had the most, with 437.
When it comes to the spread of Covid in Norfolk, the county's infection rate has remained relatively stable in recent days.
For the seven days up to June 18, there were 17.7 cases per 100,000 people - compared to a 17 a week prior.
Rates have declined in Breckland, Broadland and Great Yarmouth, but risen in King's Lynn, North Norfolk and South Norfolk.
The rate in Norwich - 22.8 cases per 100,000 people - has stayed the same but remains the highest.
Great Yarmouth now has the lowest rate, standing at just five cases per 100,000.
There were, encouragingly, no Covid cases at all among over-60s in both North Norfolk and Norwich.
However, the average number of daily new cases rose by almost a third (32.4pc) during the most recent period, from 21.1 to 28.
The total number of people tested for coronavirus was 25,330.