Mapped: The 110 postcode areas reporting a rise in Covid cases
- Credit: Archant
Covid cases are rising across vast swathes of Suffolk and north Essex, with infections in more than 100 neighbourhoods going in the wrong direction.
Public Health England figures published on Saturday night reveal that out of 146 postcode areas known as MSOAs, coronavirus infections are rising in 110 of them.
Worst-hit neighbourhoods include Abbey Field in Colchester, which recorded the highest rate of infections per 100,000 people in our region in the week to July 5, with a seven-day rolling rate of 597.3 and 47 cases.
That rate is among the highest in the country, and is closely followed by Old Heath & Rowhedge with 478.8 per 100,000 and 44 cases, and Weeley & Thorpe-le-Soken with 454.2 infections per 100,000 and 33 cases.
Use our map below to find out the infection rates where you live
In Suffolk, the Ipswich neighbourhood of Belstead Hills recorded 19 infections in the week to July 5 with a rolling seven-day rate of 294.1 per 100,000 people, logging 17 more cases than the previous week.
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Over in the west, Glemsford & Lawshall had 16 cases and a rate of 261.4 per 100,000 people, with infections increasing by 11 compared with the previous week.
At the other end of the scale, Brandon’s infection rate of 30.7 per 100,000 people stayed the same with three cases, while Oulton recorded an increase to three infections with a rate of 38.6 per 100,000.
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Lowestoft Central’s rate decreased to 39.9 per 100,000 with three cases recorded.
It comes after Stuart Keeble, Suffolk’s public health director, said on Friday that the county has seen a "worrying increase" in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.
The rate of increase, which is similar to levels seen in January and February of this year, is expected to continue - but this time around, hospitalisations remain low and more than two-thirds of the population in our region are now double-vaccinated.
However, it was revealed this week that adults in their 40s are lagging behind other age groups for Covid jabs in Suffolk.
Mr Keeble said: “The rates in Suffolk are still lower than elsewhere in the country, but the upward trend in cases is considerable and are a reminder to everyone to follow government guidance.
"People should continue to wear face coverings as they protect other people, regularly wash their hands, and follow the Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air guidance."
The crucial ‘R’ reproduction rate for the east of England is estimated at between 1.1 and 1.5.
Any value over one indicates the epidemic is growing.
NHS figures published on Thursday reveal there were six people in hospital on that date with Covid-19 across Ipswich and Colchester hospitals. Two were on ventilators.
At West Suffolk Hospital, there was just one coronavirus patient, who was on ventilation.
There has not been a coronavirus-related death at Ipswich or Colchester hospitals since the end of May.
Meanwhile, West Suffolk Hospital has not recorded a Covid-related death since the middle of March.