Norfolk Covid-19 weekly update

This is the first of a new weekly media bulletin on the latest Covid-19 information and statistics for Norfolk. A weekly press conference will also take place every Thursday to provide an update on the latest situation in the county.

Latest statistics for Norfolk show cases are continuing to rise

Covid-19 rates across Norfolk have continued to rise this week, with people across the county being advised to be extra careful over the half-term break.

The seven-day incidence for Norfolk between October 10 and 16 was 58.94 per 100,000, compared with 51.11 for the same period the previous week. This compares with 75.37 for the East of England and 171.75 for England.

Norwich continues to have the highest rate of infection, with 107.42 cases per 100,000, followed by Great Yarmouth (93.62); Breckland (56.44); South Norfolk (49.69); Broadland (39.00); North Norfolk (36.25) and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (35.01).

As of Wednesday, 21 October, there were 46 people in hospital in the county with coronavirus.

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Chair of the Norfolk Engagement Board and Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “The people of Norfolk continue to pull together and have been doing a great job of protecting themselves and each other but our rates of the virus are continuing to climb.

“It’s vital that we continue to protect ourselves and others. The advice remains the same, keep washing our hands, keeping our distance, wearing a face covering and sticking to the rule of six. It’s a county-wide effort and every one of us needs to continue to play our part to protect Norfolk.”

Half-term travel and tourism advice

As more people travel and socialise over the school holidays, Norfolk County Council is urging people to continue to follow the public health advice – keep to the rule of six and keep washing hands, socially distancing and covering faces where needed.

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Chair of the Norfolk Engagement Board and Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “Norfolk is very much open for business particularly over half-term and I hope that families will be able to get out and safely enjoy the many places and attractions our county has to offer.

“Rates of the virus here are increasing but they still remain lower than those nationally – so I’d urge people to be extra careful if they are travelling to and from Norfolk and to continue to follow the public health advice. It’s sensible to avoid crowded areas, where social distancing is more difficult, and to check if you need to pre-book days out with the family.

"With different areas of the United Kingdom facing different restrictions, you wouldn’t expect people to be leaving areas in Tier 3 (very high risk). It’s vital that everyone checks the status of local areas before travelling. Details on the tiers for each area are available at www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions.

“The virus thrives on human contact, so the more we can do to minimise that by following the guidelines, they are there for a good reason, the more we can prevent its spread.”

Reminder on when and how to isolate

With rates of coronavirus in the county continuing to increase, it remains crucial that people follow the guidance around when and how to isolate to prevent spreading the virus.

People should self-isolate immediately if:

  • You have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • You've tested positive for coronavirus
  • You live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive for the virus
  • You're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, the app, or local test and trace teams
  • You arrive in the UK from a country on the government’s quarantine list

People who are isolating must stay at home and not have any visitors to their home or garden for the duration of the isolation period (unless for essential care).

Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health for Norfolk said: “We completely understand that isolating is difficult, particularly after such a long period of restrictions. However, it can literally save lives by preventing the spread of the virus.

“Isolation means staying away from everyone outside of your immediate household – please don’t go to the shops, go to stay with family or have visitors. There is financial help available and support to get supplies. Agencies across Norfolk are here to help – we need to all work together to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Those who need support with accessing food and medicine can also contact the council for help on 0344 800 8020. Details on the Isolation Support Payment are available here.

Appeal for young Covid Champions to help share and shape public health messages

Norfolk County Council and Mancroft Advice Project are urging young people to come forward to be Covid Champions to help share and shape public health messages during the pandemic.

The council wants to create a network of champions that can help shape young people-facing campaigns and promote messages via their schools and social networks.

The council is already working closely with schools to provide advice and support and has a range of Covid-19 materials aimed at children and young people.

MAP will be working with the Covid Champions to provide advice and support.

Young people who are interested can email marketing@norfolk.gov.uk

New local testing site for Great Yarmouth

A new local testing site is currently being built in Great Yarmouth to help create more testing capacity in the borough.

The site at Nelson Road car park will be operational from tomorrow.

Norfolk’s Health Protection Board applied to the Department for Health and Social Care to create the additional capacity in the county.

People are encouraged to book a test for the new centre online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. The tests are a walk-through service only and are in addition to permanent and mobile testing sites that are already in operation.

Home testing kits remain the most convenient way to access a test and mean that people do not need to travel for a test. This can be booked via the same route as test centres.

Cllr Proctor added: “We’re pleased to be working with the government to bring this extra testing site to the county. It means those living in Great Yarmouth have another way to access tests, helping us to track the virus and prevent the spread.”

Those working at sites are provided with personal protective equipment to protect themselves from the virus and to ensure the safety of the wider community. Those attending the site must wear a face covering with the exception of those under three. Everyone must maintain social distancing.

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