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Norfolk officials issue 'Don't let Covid ruin your Christmas' plea

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County health and political leaders have launched a new campaign urging the public not to let coronavirus “ruin your Christmas”.

The plea comes after a case of the newly-discovered Omicron variant of the disease was confirmed in the North Norfolk district this week.

And overall infection rates are still high, with West Norfolk’s weekly ratio now the highest of any of the county’s districts.

Coronavirus news.
Coronavirus news.

Officials are advising the public to maintain hand hygiene, ventilate their homes and wear face coverings in crowded areas, as well as where it is legally required, as well as taking regular tests.

Dr Louise Smith, the county council’s director of public health said: “We’ve not seen a winter surge in Covid figures in the UK so far, which means we’re all hoping to enjoy a more traditional Christmas that we couldn’t last year.

“But Covid-19 is still a threat and the recent news of the Omicron variant reaching Norfolk is a reminder we all need to be careful.

Norfolk County Council have released posters like this urging people to be cautious against coronavirus this Christmas (53480634)
Norfolk County Council have released posters like this urging people to be cautious against coronavirus this Christmas (53480634)

“To keep case rates from climbing and ensure we don’t risk spending our Christmas in self-isolation, we need to keep practising the good habits we’ve picked up over the last year.

“Taking our Christmas catch ups outside over hot drinks, or making sure we keep windows open and ventilation clear indoors, can help keep case rates at their current levels and holiday plans on track.”

County council leader Andrew Proctor added: “We’ve been doing it for what is a long time now but continuing with those few basic steps of handwashing, wearing a mask and keeping our distance will still help to reduce the risk of infection and stop COVID ruining Christmas 2021.”

As of last Friday, November 26, the borough’s rolling weekly infection rate stood at 409.9 cases per 100,000 people, higher than any of the county’s other districts.

The equivalent rates were 368.3 in South Holland, 364.2 in Breckland and 361.8 in North Norfolk.

But the very latest infection data, for the seven days up to today, showed a 10 per cent fall in weekly positive tests to 586.

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-related deaths recorded at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital remains unchanged at 524.

And neighbouring districts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire both had higher weekly case levels than West Norfolk.

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