Third Covid wave could hit Norfolk in late summer, modelling suggests

Children at Woodside Junior School in Hethersett help get the message out. Photo: Archant

Diane Steiner, Norfolk's deputy director of public health - Credit: Archant

A third coronavirus wave in Norfolk at the end of the summer could see 300 Covid-19 cases per day, according to modelling of potential scenarios for the county.

But public health bosses said modelling suggests a third wave is likely to be smaller than the one the county is emerging from.

Factors such as vaccines, national policy changes, variants and people sticking to social distancing and hand washing could all have an impact.

Public health bosses have been carrying out modelling, based on assumptions by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies).

And Diane Steiner, Norfolk County Council's deputy director of public health, said modelling suggested Norfolk could see a third wave in late July and August.

She said: "It's important, when you talk about modelling, that we are talking about scenarios which might happen, rather than about forecasts or predictions.

"Changes in national policy or more transmissible variants could change the picture.

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"But we are looking at the same models as are being used nationally and that could mean a third wave later in the summer.

"It will likely be smaller than the wave we have just come out with, but it could mean 300 cases per day in Norfolk."

At the peak of the second wave, in December and January, there were days when there were more than 800 cases in Norfolk.

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam. Pic: Leon Neal/PA Wire

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam. Pic: Leon Neal/PA Wire - Credit: PA

At a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the third wave might just be an "upsurge", if the vaccination programme continues to be successful.

But Ms Steiner said it was essential people did not let their guards down too soon.

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing a Covid-19 vaccination at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught

The vaccination programme should mean fewer people get seriously ill. - Credit: Danielle Booden

She said: "The vaccine will have an important effect in terms of the seriousness of illness and in reducing hospital admissions, but we could still see a peak of up to 200 Covid-19 patients in hospital.

"While vaccines are very effective, they do not mean all people will not be infected and we will see people who have been vaccinated hospitalised.

"That's why it is so important to keep following the restrictions and the safety measures we have all got used to, such as social distancing and washing hands, while being tested twice a week."

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