Covid infection rate continues to rise in Suffolk

Covid-19 test centre signs approaching Ipswich Park and Ride Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The prime minister announced the creation of a new Tier 4 and new coronavirus restrictions over Christmas. - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Coronavirus infection rates have continued their ascent across Suffolk and north Essex, according to the latest figures released by the Public Health England. 

Babergh remains the district with the highest infection rate in Suffolk, having overtaken Ipswich, after it reported 277.1 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to December 20.

Suffolk's county town, Ipswich, had Suffolk's second highest rate of 263.7 cases per 100,000 people in the same period.

West Suffolk's rate was 216.1, while Mid Suffolk was the only district in Suffolk where the rise in infections slowed slightly. The rate in the seven days to December 20 was 184.8, compared to 187.7 in the seven days to December 19.

The rate for East Suffolk also rose but remains the lowest in the county at 166.4.

Over the border in north Essex, Braintree's infection rate was reported as 709.0 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to December 20.

Colchester's rate was 346.2 and Tendring's was 309.1 in the same timeframe.

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Data for the most recent four days  has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 290 (92%) have seen a rise in case rates and 25 (8%) have seen a fall.

Brentwood has the highest rate in England, with 1,032 new cases recorded in the seven days to December 20 – the equivalent of 1,339.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Thurrock has the second highest rate, up from 690.0 to 1,328.8, with 2,308 new cases.

The national seven-day infection rate for England is now at 331.0 cases per 100,000 people.

On Wednesday, Health secretary Matt Hancock announced both counties would be under strict Tier Four measures from Boxing Day.

According to official figures published today, NHS staff have vaccinated more than half a million patients against coronavirus in under two weeks.

A total of 521,594 people have received an NHS vaccination, with 366,715 of those vaccinated aged 80 or over.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be vaccinated against Covid and, thanks to the hard work of our brilliant staff, half a million more people have followed hot on her heels in getting protection against the virus.

“This vaccine presents a number complex logistical challenges but the NHS response has been nothing short of phenomenal, with hundreds of hospitals and local vaccination centres stood up across the country.

“More centres are coming online now and in the new year as we accelerate delivery as more vaccine comes on stream.”