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Norfolk health officials 'encouraged' as coronavirus cases reduced in the county

The number of coronavirus cases across Norfolk is steadily reducing with county officials saying they are "encouraged" with the progress.

On a Norfolk-wide level, excluding Banham Poultry workers, the seven day average has reduced to 6.2 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people living in the county.

The overall seven-day average for the county, including the workers at Banham Poultry is 8.7 per 100,000 people.

Dr Louise Smith, director of Norfolk Public Health
Dr Louise Smith, director of Norfolk Public Health

This has reduced from a peak of 18.3 at the height of the Banham outbreak and health officials are confident that the number is reducing as the data is reviewed on a daily basis.

Norfolk's director of public health Dr Louise Smith said: "I am pleased to be able to say the latest figures around infection rates of workers at Banham Poultry and the overall average number of cases in Norfolk do indeed paint an encouraging picture.

"What our data is showing us is only a very small rise in the number of infections in workers from the factory and a steadily reducing average number of weekly cases across the county."

She continued: "At this stage we have no evidence of wider-spread into the community but I would reassure you that we continue to monitor this carefully on a daily basis."

A total of 127 workers at the Attleborough factory have now tested positive out of 735 confirmed and verified tests on staff.

Significant numbers of mobile testing units have been brought into the county and testing is being encouraged in the county's areas where cases have been the highest.

This is in response to Norfolk being placed on the government's coronavirus watchlist in response to the Banham outbreak, meaning the county will receive enhanced levels of support.

Dr Smith added: "We now have results from 1,860 tests in the general community including the staff at Banham Poultry. We believe we have evidence of about five household members being infected and an additional small number of around 11 others in the community who have tested positive in other locations."

Leader of Norfolk County Council Andrew Proctor said: "Today we can actually report encouraging progress regarding the control of the Covid outbreak at Banham Poultry now staff are returning to work in a Covid safe manner.

"Support is, as you would expect, still available to staff who are continuing to self-isolate and that's through the Norfolk Assistance Scheme.

"We have also got statistics to show, excluding where Banham Poultry staff live, that we fortunately still have very low incidents of Covid-19 in Norfolk. The evidence still shows there is no spread into the wider community although we are still monitoring that situation very carefully."

The leader reemphasised the importance of residents washing their hands regularly and obeying social distancing guidelines.

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