How Covid rates have changed in Suffolk since the start of lockdown

The third lockdown has been hard, but it's had a huge impact on coronavirus cases

The third lockdown has been hard, but it's had a huge impact on coronavirus cases - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

New figures show how coronavirus infections in Suffolk and north Essex have fallen in the six weeks since the latest national lockdown began.

The latest restrictions began on January 5, just over a week after the region was plunged into Tier 4 restrictions following Christmas Day.

Since then, children have been home schooled, employees asked to work from home where they can and exercise only allowed with one person from outside the household.

The day restrictions began weekly infection rates in Suffolk and north Essex were higher than they'd ever been.

In the week leading to January 5, there were 686.6 new Covid cases per 100,000 people in Ipswich, 619.3 in Babergh,  545.7 in Mid Suffolk and the other areas not far behind.

After six weeks of tough restrictions, the case rates are drastically lower thanks to the public's efforts.

In the week leading to February 9, there were only 135.1 new Covid cases per 100,000 people in Ipswich, 61.9 in Babergh, 60.6 in Mid Suffolk and other areas in the middle. 

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North Essex has seen higher numbers of coronavirus cases during this second wave, with Braintree recording 1313.9 per 100,000 people in the week leading to January 5. 

Tendring had 1162.7, while Colchester and Maldon both had cases in the 900s.

Now, the highest infection rate in Braintree has dropped to 180.9, Tendring to 174.7 and Colchester to 129.9, with other areas showing even lower figures.

The government's plea to stay at home has been heard and local police forces have been issuing fines for those breaking the rules.

The NHS is still very much under pressure and the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) passed a grim milestone last week as over 1,000 virus patients have now died at its hospitals.

However, prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to set out a roadmap out of this lockdown next Monday, with details about when schools, non-essential shops and hospitality might be able to reopen.

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