Schoolchildren driving Covid rates across Yarmouth

Children in school

Almost half of new positive tests in Great Yarmouth came from the 5-19 age group. It is hoped the half-term school holiday could act as a firebreak. - Credit: Archant

Schoolchildren account for almost 50pc of new coronavirus cases in Great Yarmouth, figures reveal.

Latest Government data shows case rates are holding steady at 456 per 100,000 people in the seven days up to October 20.

The figure is the second-lowest in the county (North Norfolk stands at 355) and lower than Norfolk's rate of 520.

Many of the cases involve schoolchildren and of the 452 cases in Yarmouth last week, 138 (31pc) were in the 10-14 age bracket.

When combining the three school-age groups together (5-9, 10-14 and 15-19)  there were 211 cases in the ages 5-19 which makes up 47pc of all cases across the borough for the most recent seven days.

As of October 24, 28.3pc of 12-15 year-olds had received their first jab in Yarmouth - the second-highest uptake in Norfolk behind North Norfolk (28.6pc) and higher than the national average of 20.7pc.

There have been seven Covid deaths at the James Paget University Hospital in October so far (up to October 24) compared to 17 in September and 14 in August.

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On October 18 there were 14 Covid patients in beds at the JPUH, compared to nine the week before.

Across Norfolk there are 67 people in hospital and eight in ICU beds.

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said it was no surprise children were driving case numbers and urged people to continue following hygiene advice and taking up their invites for jabs and boosters.

While case numbers, although stable, were still high and with the flu virus likely to be  more a problem this winter it was also important to get a flu jab, he said.

Although mask-wearing was now a personal choice he said the council still advised wearing them in enclosed public places like supermarkets.

He hoped the half term holiday could act as a firebreak, halting the spread.

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