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‘This really does matter’: Concern at Norfolk Covid case rate increases among over 60s

PUBLISHED: 15:14 19 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:44 19 November 2020

Public health chiefs are concerned about the growing coronavirus case rate among over 60s in Norfolk. Pic: Dominic Lipinski / PA Images.

Public health chiefs are concerned about the growing coronavirus case rate among over 60s in Norfolk. Pic: Dominic Lipinski / PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

Concern is growing over the increasing rate of coronavirus cases in people aged 60 and over in Norfolk - the age group generally most likely to need hospital treatment due to Covid-19.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk’s director of public health, said coronavirus rates for that age band were now above 100 cases per 100,000 people in three parts of the county.

The weekly rate for positive cases in people aged 60 plus, in the seven days up to November 12 increased markedly in Great Yarmouth, Broadland and South Norfolk in that period.

In South Norfolk it increased by 188pc over those seven days, to 107.9 cases per 100,000 people, while in Great Yarmouth it went up by 113pc, to a rate of 166.2 cases per 100,000 people. In Broadland, it went up 81pc to 111.2 cases per 100,000.

Across Norfolk as a whole, where the rate was 143.8 cases per 100,000 people, a 45pc increase, the rate among people 60 and over was 84.3 cases per 100,000 people - an increase of 37pc.

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County CouncilDr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Dr Smith, who last week said Norfolk was now at a ‘tipping point’ as the virus is now transmitting in the community, said the increase in older age ranges was “striking”.

She said: “The number of cases in each age range is working its way up, so we are now seeing concerning rises in people aged over 60.

“There are rises in most areas of people over 60, but particularly in Great Yarmouth, Broadland and South Norfolk. This really does matter, because it’s particularly in the over 60s that we are concerned, because they’ve got such a higher risk of becoming unwell and needing more intensive care, such as hospital care.”

But there are parts of Norfolk where the picture is more promising. In North Norfolk the rate among over 60s was just 32.5 cases per 100,000 people - a drop of 26pc on the previous seven days.

Recent Norfolk coronavirus cases by age. Graph: Peter Raven / Flourish.Recent Norfolk coronavirus cases by age. Graph: Peter Raven / Flourish.

And in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk it was 44,2 cases per 100,000 people, a fall of 58pc on the week before. In Norwich it had gone up by 64pc, but, at 65.9 cases per 100,000 people it was still well below the 100 cases per 100,000 people which triggers real alarm.

Across England, the seven day rate increase across all ages was 271.8 cases per 100,000 people - a 10pc change - with a rate of 203.3 cases per 100,000 in the over 60s - an 8pc increase.

As of November 10, 102 beds in Norfolk’s three hospitals - the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn - were occupied by patients with Covid-19.

MORE: Outbreaks in more than 50 Norfolk care homes and cases in a further 71


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