Norfolk's Covid rate falls to lowest level since December
- Credit: PA
The rate of coronavirus infections in Norfolk has fallen for the third consecutive week and looks set to drop below 300 per 100,000 for the first time since mid-December.
Public Health England data shows the county’s rate stood at 306 infections per 100,000 people in the week up to January 27 – a drop of 23pc from the week before.
Suffolk's rate also continued to fall, reaching 220 in the same week.
All local authority areas in Norfolk saw overall rates fall for the second week in a row.
The biggest fall was seen in North Norfolk, where rates fell by 37pc to 155. The only other local authority with rates below 300 per 100,000 was South Norfolk, were 263 was recorded, 22pc lower than the week before.
Rates dropped in Great Yarmouth by 24pc, but the area recorded the highest rate in the county with 376 infections per 100,000.
Despite falls of 27pc and 16pc respectively, rates in Norwich and Breckland remain relatively high, at 364 and 341 per 100,000.
Meanwhile in West Norfolk and Broadland infections dropped by 26pc and 18 pc to 312.5, 309 and 263 respectively.
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Local rates reduced by at least a quarter in around half of Norfolk and Waveney’s 125 neighbourhoods, with five neighbourhoods now recording rates of below 100 per 100,000.
The biggest drops
The biggest falls were seen in the Southwold, Reydon and Wrentham area, where rates fell by 76pc to 68 per 100,000.
In Wells and Blakeney and the areas of Coltishall, Buxton and Frettenham, rates fell by 74pc to 83 and 90 respectively.
Carlton Colville in Lowestoft and the Earlham Road and College Road area of Norwich also saw rates drop by 70pc to 70 and 149 per 100,000 respectively.
But despite the good news county-wide, the data suggests local flare-ups are likely to be with us for a long time, with infection rates jumping by at least a fifth in 19 neighbourhoods across Norfolk and Waveney.
The biggest rise was in Hunstanton, were rates more than doubled from 171 on January 20 to 419 on January 27 – a rise of 144pc.
Thetford North also saw rates more than double, from 168 to 398 per 100,000, while the rates in Drayton and Thorpe Marriott rose by 93pc to 504.9 per 100,000.
Other neighbourhoods that saw significant jumps in the number of infections included Wymondham West, where rates rose from 317 to 564.
Bawdeswell, Swanton Morley and North Elmham also saw a big jump in infections over the week, with the rate rising from 296 to 444 per 100,000.
Last week, Norfolk’s director of public health Dr Louise Smith said there was no room for complacency, despite the overall fall in cases across Norfolk.
“The drop is slow and numbers could quickly move the other way if we started to ease off,” said Dr Smith.
“That’s why it’s so important to keep following the rules, as challenging as that is for everyone.
“It’s really encouraging to see the roll-out of the vaccination programme, so that gives us the longer-term hope that we can slowly return to something closer to normal.”