Several weeks into lockdown, Norfolk sees sharp decline in coronavirus infection rates

Police patrol along Great Yarmouth's quiet seafront during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE

There has been a sharp decline in the coronavirus infection rate in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Coronavirus infection rates in much of Norfolk and Waveney have declined sharply, latest figures have revealed. 

New data from Public Health England (PHE) shows the rate of infection in all but one of the region's districts decreased in the seven days up to November 23. The country went into lockdown on November 5, suggesting that, a few weeks in, this had a positive impact.

In Great Yarmouth, where transmission of the virus has given public health officials cause for concern, the rate has halved from 164.1 cases per 100,000 people to 82.5.

And in Breckland, which has experienced major outbreaks at meat factories in Attleborough and Watton, the rate is down significantly - from 114.3 for the week ending November 16, to 66.4 in the latest period.

Watton became England's coronavirus hotspot after an outbreak at the Cranswick factory. Picture: Arc

The coronavirus infection rate in Breckland has fallen sharply - Credit: Archant

There are also encouraging signs in South Norfolk, whose rate had rocketed due to the virus spreading rapidly in and around Wymondham.

At one point, the area of Wymondham West had a rate of 987 cases per 100,000 - the 24th-highest in England. 

Wymondham town centre after it was revealed that the town now has the 45th highest Covid rate in Eng

The coronavirus infection rate in South Norfolk is heading in the right direction - Credit: Archant

But now the district's fortunes are seemingly heading in the right direction after the rate dropped from 196.6 to 123.5. 

Only North Norfolk's infection went up during the latest period, from 65.8 to 81.1 cases per 100,000. 

That is still relatively low, but it means the local authority no longer has the region's lowest rate - a crown it has held with pride throughout much of the pandemic. 

Quiet Sheringham during the first weekend of the second lockdown. The town was one area of north Nor

The coronavirus infection rate in North Norfolk has increased - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

In terms of actual case numbers, 887 people in Norfolk tested positive for Covid-19 in the week ending November 23. That compares to 1,261 during the week prior. 

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But at Norfolk's hospitals, latest admission statistics show there is still work to do when it comes to protecting those who may become seriously ill after contracting the disease.

The drive-through coronavirus testing facility at the Norwich Research Park. Picture: Denise Bradley

Coronavirus infection rates are falling across much of Norfolk - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The county's biggest hospital, Norfolk and Norwich, had 60 beds occupied by coronavirus patients as of November 24 - a 33pc rise on the previous week (45). 

That number at James Paget University Hospital is going in the opposite direction, down from 39 to 27 in a week. 

At Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, 39 beds are occupied by Covid-19 sufferers, down from 40.

Latest NHS figures show there were 45 people with Covid-19 occupying beds at Norfolk and Norwich Uni

The number of beds occupied by coronavirus patients at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has gone up by 33pc - Credit: Evening News © 2009

Infection rates in each district for the seven days up to November 23 (previous week in brackets):

• Breckland: 66.4 cases per 100,000 people (114.3)

• Broadland: 86.4 (134.6)

• East Suffolk: 66.1 (88.6)

• Great Yarmouth: 82.5 (164.1)

• King’s Lynn and West Norfolk: 107.7 (146)

• North Norfolk: 81.1 (65.8) 

• Norwich: 125.9 (138.7) 

• South Norfolk: 123.5 (196.6)

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