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Protect Norwich - call to follow public health advice after growing numbers of coronavirus cases

16 October 2020

Communities across all ages and areas of Norwich are being urged to act now and work together to protect themselves and each other as cases in the city continue to rise.

For the period between 4 and 10 October the seven day incidence rate of the virus in Norwich was at 92 per 100,000 up from 36 per 100,000 a week before. This means we had in the region of 130 new cases between 4 and 10 October compared to just over 60 the previous week. While the Norwich seven day incidence rate remains below the national average of 162 per 100,000, it is one of the highest in the region and there is concern about this rising trend in cases.

Public Health Norfolk, Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council are urging residents to pull together and act now to prevent rates climbing further.

Cllr Alan Waters, Leader of Norwich City Council, said: “Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “The city council has played a pivotal role throughout the pandemic in the battle against Covid – as have our residents, who all gave up so much to keep the virus in check when we went into lockdown.

“But now that landscape has changed and Norwich has the highest rate of positive Covid cases in Norfolk per 100,000 people.

“We need to act now to drive the numbers down so I’m urging all our residents, throughout our many different communities and neighbourhoods, to act as one and follow the government guidance so we can protect ourselves, protect others and protect Norwich.”

The majority of cases in the Norwich area relate to working age adults particularly in the University, Nelson and Eaton wards of the city but there is concern about wider transmission in communities across the whole city. Just under half of those testing positive for Covid-19 have been young adults between the ages of 18 and 30.

Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health for Norfolk, said: “We are concerned that there is a trend of rising cases in the Norwich area and we need to work together to bring these rates back down. 
“The rate of infection is still below the national average and we want to keep it that way.

“At the moment we are seeing the number of cases grow each day, particularly among young adults, and we know that the virus can spread quickly from young people to the wider community and to those who are more vulnerable.

“So, we need people to extra careful in following the measures that are already in place.

“Now is the time to act together to protect ourselves, protect others and protect Norwich.”

The essential advice to follow:

  • Keep your distances from others
  • Follow the rule of six and only gather in groups of less than six, inside or outside
  • Cover your face when this is required
  • Keep washing your hands
  • It is crucial to stay at home if you have symptoms and only leave to get a test

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council and Chair of the Norfolk Engagement Board, said: “Across Norfolk our communities have done a great job in keeping rates of coronavirus down and this has been a collective effort from residents, businesses and local authorities.

“Fortunately rates are still below those nationally but they are rising across most of the county. Norwich was the focus today and it was the Great Yarmouth area last week. I endorse totally the comments that we must continue to follow the guidelines, they are there for a purpose, and work together to protect each other and protect Norfolk.”

Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council are working together to promote public health messages in the community. This includes the distribution of posters and information to businesses including pubs and bars, educational settings and accommodation, and venues. A social media campaign, targeted at local postcodes, is also running to inform people of rising rates in the area and promoting the NHS digital test and trace app. Outdoor information posters have been distributed in local shops and petrol forecourts and digital screens are on display at the bus station.

Public health teams are continuing to analyse and monitor the data daily so further action can be targeted as necessary.

The infection rate for Norfolk from 4 to 10 October was 52 per 100,000, up from 35 per 100,000 the week before. The rate for the East of England over the same period was 67 per 100,000.

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