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Coronavirus: Norfolk health chief pleads for public precautions amid surge in cases

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Public health chiefs have urged people in West Norfolk to keep taking precautions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The plea follows a recent surge in cases, which has seen weekly infections in the borough climb back above 1,000.

And six new Covid-related deaths have also been recorded in recent days at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, taking the total there since the start of the pandemic to 563.

Public health chiefs say people should still take precautions against coronavirus following a surge in infections.
Public health chiefs say people should still take precautions against coronavirus following a surge in infections.

Latest figures, up to yesterday, showed there had been 1,075 new Covid infections in West Norfolk in the latest seven-day period – up by nearly 68 per cent on the previous week.

There were 918 new cases in Breckland, up by 62 per cent, and 546 in North Norfolk, an increase of 57 per cent on the previous week.

Senior county officials say they don’t believe the increases are linked to any individual outbreaks.

But they have also stressed that case levels remain much lower than during the winter peak in January and the current increases are being reflected across much of the country.

Suzanne Meredith, Norfolk County Council’s deputy director of public health, said today: “We are monitoring the trends locally and are supporting settings such as schools and care homes in the area.

“We can all continue to play a role in reducing the spread of Covid-19 by following Government guidance.

“Most importantly, we would encourage people to get vaccinated, to let fresh air in if meeting indoors, to consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces, and to get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms and stay at home if positive.”

Three of the latest Covid deaths at the QEH were recorded in a daily NHS update on Wednesday afternoon, while the others were reported in figures released from the weekend.

They occurred over a period between February 26 and Sunday of this week, March 6.

The latest available figures also show a rise in the number of people being admitted to the QEH with Covid, with 67 admissions during the seven days to last Sunday, February 27, up 11 on the previous week.

Covid-related admissions to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital were up by nearly 40 per cent to 85, or 25 new patients, over the same period.

On vaccinations, 68.7 per cent of all people aged 12 and over in West Norfolk have now had a booster or third dose, based on figures up to Tuesday of this week.

The borough’s figure remains behind Breckland, at 69.7 per cent, and North Norfolk at 76.7 per cent, but is ahead of other neighbouring districts of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

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