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Coronavirus: 'Essential we all follow the rules', Norfolk health chief warns as cases rise

County health chiefs have warned the public to stick to the essentials and follow government rules as coronavirus case levels continue to rise.

The latest Norfolk County Council weekly briefing, released today, has suggested social gatherings held prior to lockdown may have led to a particularly sharp spike in infection rates in the South Norfolk district.

But case numbers are rising in all parts of the county, apart from Yarmouth, according to the latest figures for the week up to last Saturday, November 14.

Coronavirus news
Coronavirus news

Dr Louise Smith, the county's director of public health, said: “It’s essential that people stay home as much as possible.

"It is essential those with symptoms isolate and get a test and it essential that people work with test and trace teams and give details of their contacts.

“If you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus you can’t test your way out of isolating – you might be carrying and passing on the virus even if you don’t have symptoms or you’ve had a negative test.

Dr Louise Smith, director of Norfolk Public Health. (35978505)
Dr Louise Smith, director of Norfolk Public Health. (35978505)

“It’s essential that we all work together to reduce the spread of the virus, so that we can protect our loved ones and our communities.”

Dr Smith said people who are meant to be isolating should also try to stay away from other members of their households, if possible, to prevent passing on the virus.

She added: “If you have symptoms, you should stay away from other people you live with as much as possible. I know this isn’t practical for everyone but if you can avoid sharing beds, using shared spaces and use a separate bathroom if you have one, then that can help you to protect your family.”

The comments come after a senior regional health official urged people not to be tempted to break the current lockdown rules, which remain in place until December 2.

Dr David Edwards, a consultant in health protection for Public Health England in East Anglia, said people should “dig deep and continue sticking to the advice, which has been put in place to help protect us all.”

He added: “As we see case rates stabilising in other parts of the country, it is rising week on week in our region and we need to do everything we can to bring the rate down.

“One of our best defences and something we can all do is social distancing, washing hands, not mixing with other households and wearing masks.

“If you have any symptoms, you should book a test immediately so you and any close contacts can self-isolate and help break the chain of transmission.

“It is challenging for us all but if we work together we can help protect not just those we love but those around us – we all need to be playing our part.”

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