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Coronavirus: West Norfolk care home deaths reach highest weekly total since May

Coronavirus-related deaths in West Norfolk’s care homes have reached their highest level since last May, according to new figures out today.

Overall infection rates are also still rising, though government data suggests the trend may now be starting to slow down.

Data from the Office for National Statistics, released today, shows six deaths occurred in care homes in the borough during the week up to New Year’s Day, with Covid-19 as the cause.

Coronavirus news.
Coronavirus news.

The figures show the virus accounted for half of all deaths in the sector in that week.

And it is also the highest weekly figure since seven deaths were recorded in week 19, up to May 8 last year.

The news follows last week’s announcement by health chiefs of a further expansion to the area’s vaccination programme.

Surgeries in Snettisham and Swaffham have joined others in Lynn, Fakenham and Terrington St John in offering coronavirus jabs and health chiefs say around 40 per cent of all over-80s in Norfolk and Waveney have now received their initial dose of a vaccine.

Overall, there were 18 coronavirus-related deaths in West Norfolk during the week to January 1, the same number as in the previous week. The other 12 deaths occurred in hospital.

However, the total number of deaths recorded at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital among patients who tested positive for coronavirus remains unchanged at 203, according to the updated daily figures from NHS England. No deaths have been recorded there since New Year’s Eve.

Elsewhere, government data shows the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is still rising, though not as steeply as in recent days.

Figures for the seven days up to last Wednesday, January 6, showed 700 cases in West Norfolk, up by 109, or 18.4 per cent, on the previous week.

Equivalent figures for the previous day showed a week-on-week of nearly a third.

The overall infection rate stands at 462.4 per 100,000 people, which remains below the national average.

Case numbers are also rising in most neighbouring areas, though there was a slight fall in South Holland.

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