Euro 2020 crowds blamed for Gorleston Covid spike

Sam Carpenter watches as Stuart Bedford carries out the lateral flow test on the new Covid-19 mobile

Sam Carpenter watches as Stuart Bedford carries out the lateral flow test on the new Covid-19 mobile testing bus. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Younger people mixing for Euro 2020 matches are thought to be one of the drivers for a spike in cases on the east coast, where rates are highest among the under 40s.

Infection rates in Gorleston South and Beach stand at 1134.8 per 100,000 - one of the highest in the country - prompting a ramping up of testing and mobile units deployed at multiple locations.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Carl Smith thanked the public for its response, with hundreds of tests given out over the weekend - although he stressed the focus was still on the younger age group coming forward and getting both jabs.

A local lockdown would be a “last resort” to combat a fresh rise in cases of coronavirus in Norfolk,

A local lockdown would be a “last resort” to combat a fresh rise in cases of coronavirus in Norfolk, a public health director has said. Photo: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Archant

Diane Steiner, Norfolk's deputy director of public health, said: “We'd like to thank everyone who has taken part in testing so far - whether that's through our current enhanced testing, or through regular weekly symptom-free testing, workplace testing and testing when people get symptoms - all of these help us to find cases and reduce the spread of the virus.

“The reason that we're doing this enhanced testing is because we've seen wider transmission within the community that isn't within contained settings. 

"It's possible that some of this will have occurred due to people coming together to watch the football matches, as they did across the country. 

"Our highest rates are in younger adults under the age of 40."

A similar intervention was deployed in the northern villages of Ormesby, Hemsby, and Winterton where uptake has so far been good, although testing units are still on site, and anyone who hasn’t yet had a test is encouraged to do so.

Across Great Yarmouth as a whole in the seven days up to July 25, 583 people tested positive for Covid, giving an overall rate per 100,000 of 758.

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During the same period there were no deaths within 28 days of a positive test, although the numbers in hospital had doubled to 12.

However, a swathe of southern villages taking in Belton, Burgh Castle, Bradwell, Gorleston, Fritton, and St Olaves.

Of those Gorleston South and Beach is among the worst affected with 100 new cases up to July 20.

Where to get tested - southern villages

There will be additional walk-in observed testing sites in Gorleston and Bradwell, no need to book, just drop in at:

Conservative Club from Monday July 26 to  Friday July 30, 8-4pm

Morrisons, Blackbird Close in Bradwell Tuesday July 27 to Saturday July 31, 8-4pm

Mobile unit, Edinburgh Avenue Playing Fields (Car Park), Edinburgh Avenue, Gorleston, Monday July 26 to Friday July 30,  9am to 5pm.

Where to get tested - northern villages

Enhanced testing remains in place in the northern villages and people are encourage to drop in at:

Hemsby Sports and Social Club car park, daily to Wednesday July 28 between 12- 6.30pm – you can walk in or drive through

Ormesby Village Centre car park, daily from Thursday July 22 between 8- 5pm.

Winterton Village Hall car park, daily from Thursday July 22 between 8-5pm.

Public health bosses are calling on everybody over the age of 16 living in Gorleston and Bradwell to take a Covid test so cases can be identified quicker and the spread slowed.

Tests can also be collected from local libraries or pharmacies.

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