Don’t speculate on future Covid tiers, says Suffolk MP after report

There are fears Essex will go into Tier three restrictions Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

There are fears Essex will go into Tier 3 restrictions - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A Suffolk MP has warned against speculating over coronavirus tiers after a scientific report showed Covid cases are rising in the county.

A report from King’s College London suggests that Covid rates are rising despite the Tier 2 restrictions.

The report – which is presented to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) every day – takes data from the ZOE coronavirus symptom tracker app.

Using the app, people can self-report whether they have any coronavirus symptoms or if they have had a test.

The latest report suggests that in Suffolk, the case rate is 226 per 100,000 and 51 per 100,000 for the over 60s.

This led to The Sun newspaper writing that the county “may be at risk of going into Tier 3”. 

But James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk, said: “We should be careful not to speculate too much about future policy decisions when the data is constantly changing but this does underline the need for us all to keep sticking to the rules on social distancing.”

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The case rates reported using data from the app are far above those that NHS testing reports.

According to the latest NHS data the area with the highest Covid rate in Suffolk is Ipswich which has a rate of 160 per 100,000.

This data – for the seven days to December 4 – is based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

Elsewhere in Suffolk the rates are some of the lowest in the country.
Mid Suffolk has a rate of 47.2 – one of just 18 districts in England with a Covid rate below 50 per 100,000.

West Suffolk also has a Covid rate of 50.8 while East Suffolk’s is 55.7 per 100,000 people.

A spokesman for Public Health Suffolk declined to comment on the report, calling it “speculation”.