Covid-19 case rates double in some districts across Suffolk and north Essex

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 case rates for every district across Suffolk and north Essex have continued to rise – and more than doubled in some areas.

According to the latest Public Health England statistics, 1,275 new positive Covid-19 cases were recorded in Suffolk in the week up to December 9.

The figures are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

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

As Boris Johnson announced the new Tier 4 of restrictions to combat a new strain of Covid-19 – called VUI-202012/01 – Ipswich continues to have the highest case rate in Suffolk, with 222.8 cases per 100,000 people.

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However, the increase in case rate in Ipswich is the smallest in the county - having only increased by around 20.

It is up from 200.1 in the week to December 9.

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In other Suffolk districts, case rates have more than doubled.

In Babergh, the case rate has gone from 84.7 per 100,000 in the week before December 9 to 199.9 in the most recent data.

Mid Suffolk has gone from 62.6 per 100,000 to 160.7 now. West Suffolk has seen a similar increase and is now registering 153 cases per 100,000.

Despite these rapid increases, the case rate in every Suffolk district remains below the average for England.

In Essex, all districts have experienced a rise in cases.

Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester – which have all avoided Tier 4 – have seen case rates double. The case rate in Uttlesford, 288.1 per 100,000 people, is now higher than the national average.

In the Tier 4 areas of north Essex, the case rates have also doubled and now stand far above the national average.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 285 (90%) have seen a rise in case rates, 29 (9%) have seen a fall and one remains unchanged.

Thurrock has the highest rate in the country after seeing the largest week-on-week jump in England, with 1,841 new cases recorded in the seven days to December 16 - the equivalent of 1,056.0 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 387.2 in the seven days to December 9.

Havering, in London, has the second highest rate, up from 513.6 to 1,021.8, with 2,652 new cases.

Basildon, in Essex, is in third place, where the rate has risen from 619.7 to 995.2 - with 1,863 new cases.

The areas with the biggest week-on-week jumps other than Thurrock are Rochford (up from 266.7 to 864.2, with 755 new cases), Epping Forest (up from 382.7 to 956.8, with 1,260 new cases), Havering and Castle Point (up from 289.9 to 787.8, with 712 new cases).

All these areas are in the new Tier 4 announced by prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday.

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