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It’s essential – Norfolk must follow Covid restrictions to halt rise in cases

20 November 2020

As rates of coronavirus in Norfolk continue to rise, people are being urged to stick to the essentials and follow the national guidelines.

The current restrictions mean that people should only leave home if it is essential:

  • To shop for essentials
  • To do essential work, because you cannot work from home
  • To only carry out essential journeys
  • For essential education
  • For essential exercise.

It is also essential that people isolate immediately if they have symptoms, test positive or have had close contact with someone who has coronavirus and it is essential to work with NHS Test and Trace and local contact tracing teams, to help keep communities safe.

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Chair of the Norfolk Engagement Board and Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “It is essential that Norfolk follows the national restrictions to halt the ongoing rise in Covid cases.

“That means only leaving home for essential reasons and if you do need to leave home, following the hands, face, space advice.

“It’s essential that you work with contact tracing teams if you test positive because it is our most effective way to track the virus and keep people safe. We know isolating is inconvenient, but it is absolutely vital – you don’t have to have symptoms to spread this virus and anyone can catch it and pass it on.

“As councils we are here to help – if you need support to isolate or you are struggling to get access to food or medicines please contact us so that we can get you what you need. “

In Norfolk rates of coronavirus have increased from 100 per 100,000 in the week to November 6 to 149 in the week to November 13. The highest rates are currently in South Norfolk (222) and Great Yarmouth (214).

Cases in South Norfolk are thought to be linked to social gatherings in the lead up the national restrictions coming into effect two weeks ago. Those affected are mainly working age adults and it is believed that most cases can be traced back to events that happened in the days before lockdown.

Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health for Norfolk, said: “It’s essential that people stay home as much as possible. It is essential those with symptoms isolate and get a test and it essential that people work with test and trace teams and give details of their contacts.

“If you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus you can’t test your way out of isolating – you might be carrying and passing on the virus even if you don’t have symptoms or you’ve had a negative test. It’s essential that we all work together to reduce the spread of the virus, so that we can protect our loved ones and our communities.”

Dr Smith said those who should be isolating should also try to stay away from other members of their households, if possible, to prevent passing on the virus.

She added: “If you have symptoms, you should stay away from other people you live with as much as possible. I know this isn’t practical for everyone but if you can avoid sharing beds, using shared spaces and use a separate bathroom if you have one, then that can help you to protect your family.”

As national restrictions continue Covid marshalls or support officers continue to be recruited and deployed across the county.  The aim is for them to advise, educate, and engage with businesses and members of the public – being the eyes and the ears and report back concerns and repeat offenders. They are also doing leaflet dropping and working closely with the police around how to enforce the restrictions.

If people need help and support to isolate they can visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 0344 800 8020.

Statistics

Last week’s figures are in brackets.

Seven day incidence per 100,000 on November 13:

  • Breckland: 137 ( 76)
  • Broadland: 149 (113)
  • Great Yarmouth:  216 (165)
  • King’s Lynn and West Norfolk: 118 (134)
  • North Norfolk: 56 (40)
  • Norwich: 142 (84)
  • South Norfolk: 222 (86)

Outbreaks

  • Businesses: 20 (15)
  • Education: 20 (15)
  • Care providers: 54 (39)

NHS advice on isolating at home:

If you can:

  • stay on your own in one room as much as possible and keep the door closed
  • avoid using shared spaces (such as the kitchen) at the same time as other people – eat your meals in your room
  • use a separate bathroom - otherwise, use the bathroom after everyone else and clean it each time you use it, for example, by wiping the surfaces you've touched
  • wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
  • consider wearing a face covering when in shared spaces
keep windows open in the room you're staying in and shared spaces as much as possible

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