How does Norwich’s infection rate compare to where northern cities were in September?
PUBLISHED: 15:15 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:02 14 October 2020
Ruth Tyrrell/Ryan Warburton/Wangyang Li/Ryan Booth
The infection rate in Norwich is similar to that of northern cities four weeks ago - before tighter coronavirus restrictions were imposed on them.
Norwich’s Covid-19 rate has soared in the last week to 82 infections per 100,000 people. The increase is largely down to an outbreak at the University of East Anglia, which is regularly testing students.
Towns and cities in the north and Midlands - which are now living with tougher restrictions on socialising - recorded similar rates to Norwich’s current level in September.
In Nottingham, where a surge in cases was also linked to students, the case rate was the same as Norwich’s current level on September 26, with 71 infections per 100,000.
It then soared to the highest rate in the country - at more than 800 per 100,000 people.
More than 1,500 students have now been infected in Nottingham and at the weekend police condemned the “reckless” behaviour of a handful of students who held parties.
In Norwich on Sunday morning, police also broke up a party of 100 people in a student house on Bowthorpe Road.
However the UEA said its latest figures showed a slight decrease in the number of students infected from 73 on Friday to 71 on Monday.
A UEA spokesman said: “Our own testing initiative scheme, working in partnership with the Earlham Institute has helped to identify more than three quarters of the students who have tested positive on campus, which demonstrates the importance of testing and making campus safer for everyone.”
Elsewhere, Liverpool, which on Monday was placed in the highest bracket of coronavirus restrictions, had a similar rate to Norwich’s current level on September 8.
Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle also had similar levels to Norwich’s rate in mid September, before soaring.
See also: Neighbours react after student house party
However, that does not mean the same will happen here.
Norfolk now has a track record of reducing infection rates after an outbreak. It succeeded in doing this at Banham Poultry in September and in Great Yarmouth last week, where a rate of almost 100 infections per 100,000 people has been brought down to 56.
Norfolk has set up its own track and trace team to find those who have been in contact with confirmed cases.
The city council also said it was “continuing to work closely with Norfolk public health to respond quickly”.
A spokesman said: “City council officers form a crucial part of the local contact tracing system, with officers on the ground helping to contact people who can’t be reached over the phone. Success rates of the local system are far higher than tracing carried out by central government.”
They also said they would use £88,000 from the government to recruit more environmental health officers and take action against any businesses not following the guidelines.
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