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Latest Norfolk Covid 19 update

29 October 2020

Warning on need for winter vigilance

Infection rates are rising among Norfolk’s working population and there are concerns this could pass on to the over-60s, director of public health Dr Louise Smith warned today.

The overall rate for the seven days to 23 October in Norfolk is rising, at 89.2 per 100,000, compared to 59.9 last week. The highest rates are in Breckland (171), Great Yarmouth (125) and Norwich (120).

Forecasts, by the Royal Academy of Medicine, predict cases will continue to rise in across the UK and peak after Christmas. Norfolk’s public health team is planning on the basis that will also happen here.

The number of people now in Norfolk’s hospitals has risen to 89, with two in critical care. This compares to 49 last week (with four in intensive care).

Dr Smith said: “We are starting to see a fall in cases for younger people and a rise in cases in the 23-60-year-old population, which, if left unchecked, will pass into the over 60s. If that happens, we will see more people admitted to hospital and more deaths. We have already seen this happening in other areas in England.

“I understand some people are getting tired of following the rules but we must do so, more than ever. If we don’t, things will escalate quickly in Norfolk and that inevitably leads to more illness and death.”

Background

The latest cases per 100,000 people over seven days to 23 October, with last week’s in brackets:

  • Breckland: 172 (49.3) 
  • Broadland: 69 (34.4) 
  • Great Yarmouth: 126 (66.4) 
  • King’s Lynn and West Norfolk: 48 (36.3) 
  • North Norfolk: 36 (35.3) 
  • Norwich: 120 (98.9) 
  • South Norfolk: 54 (39.8) 

Outbreaks at Cranswick Foods and other sites:

  • Testing in at the butchery section at Cranswick Foods is nearly complete, with 175 positives and 185 negatives. Attention is now moving to testing in the other parts of the factory and we will issue a further statement tomorrow (Friday)
  • A mobile testing unit, offering walk-in testing, is in Watton today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday)
  • The public health team is also investigating

Care provider settings:

  • 37 open outbreaks, two new this week

Businesses or workplace settings

  • 11 outbreaks

Education settings

  • 10 outbreaks

£200,000 to ease hardship this Christmas

A £200,000 fund to ease Christmas hardship has been announced by the county council.

The council is providing £200,000 to the Norfolk Community Foundation, to support families and vulnerable people facing hardship this Christmas.

County council leader Councillor Andrew Proctor said: “We know this has been a tough year for many people in Norfolk and we’ve been working with partners to support the most vulnerable, especially as winter kicks in and the furlough scheme ends.

“By working with the Norfolk Community Foundation, we’re maximising the impact of every pound, to help the people who need it most.”

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, welcomed the announcement and said: “This partnership with Norfolk County Council will give families a helping hand to cope through the crisis of a Covid Christmas. By working together, we will maximise the impact of investment for Norfolk during these challenging times.

“It is widely recognised that many people who have never needed help before now need support, because Covid has pushed them from struggling to make ends meet to being unable to cope.”

The money is coming from the county council’s £1.015 million Government grant to support people in Norfolk. Around half has been spent so far to help people with food, fuel, exceptional household items and other welfare support.

Before the Christmas scheme launches, applications for help can be made to the Norfolk Assistance Scheme on the county council website - or, for those who don’t have internet access, by calling 01603 223392 option 5.

Awards that can be made include:

  • A three-day award for applicants who have made an application for Universal Credit 
  • A seven-day award for people who are furloughed, are self-employed or have been made redundant and are awaiting verification of their Universal Credit application
  • Awards to applicants with no recourse to public funds

General advice

Halloween and Bonfire night

Norfolk County Council and partner agencies are asking children and families to celebrate Halloween differently this year as we all do our bit to find new ways to do things to keep the spread of Covid-19 as controlled as possible. To find out more about this, including some ideas for how to celebrate, please see our press release on Celebrating Halloween differently.

Return to school after half term

Schools, academies and colleges across the county are working very hard to ensure their risk assessments and processes are right as children and young people return to education settings after the half term holiday.

A quick guide and symptom checker have been developed to add clarity for parents on when to keep children off school

Spotting symptoms

The symptoms to look out for are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • Loss of sense of smell and taste

To find out how to stay safe, what to do if you have symptoms and the support available should you need to isolate, visit our Coronavirus pages.

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