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Advice given over Covid spreading within households

21 January 2021

Don’t drop your guard within your own home, if you live with someone with Covid symptoms.

That’s the message from director of public health Dr Louise Smith, amid concern that spread within homes accounted for over a third of cases.

Dr Smith is also concerned that cases in Norwich remain high, despite infections starting to reduce in the rest of Norfolk.

The latest figures show that:

  • There are 730 Covid patients in Norfolk’s hospitals, including 55 in intensive care
  • There have been 3,896 cases in the seven days to 16th January - this is 474 fewer compared to the same time last week
  • The seven-day incidence rate is 439 per 100,000 - this is a reduction of 52 compared to the previous week
  • For the county, the seven day incidence rate is 439 per 100,000 - this is a reduction of 52 compared to the previous week

Dr Smith said: “Case figures are reducing in Norfolk, except for in Norwich, which is looking like a regional outlier.

“In Norwich, cases are also rising among the over-60s. This is very concerning, as it may lead to more hospital admissions and deaths.”

Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “It’s frustrating for us all to see that the cases in Norwich are remaining stubbornly high – and this is despite the clear collective efforts of the majority of our residents and businesses carefully following the guidance.

“But we need everyone to hold their nerve and continue to follow the rules so we can turn the corner and see the rewards of the sacrifices we’ve all made, since we went into lockdown two weeks ago, with a reduction in cases in the city.”

Dr Smith said that 35 per cent of cases were now linked to where people lived – whether in their own homes or care homes.

She said: “It’s very easy to be wary of strangers but then drop your guard when someone you live with shows Covid symptoms.

“There are simple precautions everyone can follow, to keep yourself safe in these circumstances.”

Government guidelines include:

  • Spending as little time as possible in shared spaces within the home, when the infected person is present
  • Ensuring the infected person can eat meals in their own room
  • Double-bagging any rubbish such as tissues used by the infected person
  • Using separate towels and ensuring the bathroom is cleaned after the infected person has used it 

“I’m very encouraged by what we are hearing from NHS colleagues regarding the wider roll-out of vaccinations, including the new centre in the Castle Quarter in Norwich.

“The long-term way out of this situation is through vaccination. But in the meantime it’s still just as important that the guidelines of hands, face and space are strictly followed.

“It’s still early days in terms of analysing the information but we should get a better picture in coming weeks.” 

View the latest Government guidelines on staying safe at home. 

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