Suffolk health chiefs alarm as covid cases shoot up ahead of sunny bank holiday weekend

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The number of Covid cases in Suffolk have risen by 22% in the last week and this increase is set to continue.

This has prompted Suffolk’s Director of Public Health to issue an urgent warning ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Stuart Keeble made the warning after Suffolk’s weekly case hit 231.1 cases per 100,000 population.

This is in comparison to 189.9 per 100,000 the previous week and is a steep rise compared to case growth in the East of England.

In the week to 25 August, there were 1,904 new cases of COVID-19 in Suffolk, compared to 1,597 cases up to 18 August. Each of the five districts have experienced a week-on-week increase, with a high number of cases recorded in Newmarket and Lowestoft in the last two weeks.

Areas around north Newmarket have the highest weekly rates with 702.7 cases per 100,000 population and Lowestoft and Kirkley are the second highest with 517.1 cases per 100,000 population. Other areas around Lowestoft are also seeing higher than average cases (Gunton West with 392.5 per 100,000 and Lowestoft Central 379.1 per 100,000).

There has also been an almost doubling in the case rate in Suffolk’s 60+ population over the last month with a rate of 80.9 per 100,000 on 19 August, up from 42.2 per 100,000 on 17 July.

The number of hospital beds occupied by positive patients has also risen in Suffolk’s four hospitals with 76 patients and there have been two COVID-19 deaths in the most recent week of data.

Ahead of the Bank Holiday Weekend, Mr Keeble, Director of Public Health at Suffolk County Council, is encouraging people to enjoy the weather but warning them do it carefully and with consideration for other people. This including sticking to Covid-safe measures, such as mask wearing and keeping your distance.

Mr Keeble said:

“We want people to get out and about this bank holiday weekend – whether that’s building sandcastles at the beach, enjoying a proper pint with friends or going on adventures throughout our beautiful county. But we need everyone to do so carefully, and be kind to people who are still very vulnerable to COVID. Sadly, this disease is still very much in our communities – and while it is hugely important that we live our lives to the fullest and enjoy all that Suffolk has to offer, we must do this with caution.

“This means wearing a mask or keeping your distance when you feel it is appropriate or to protect vulnerable people around us. Every act of kindness and consideration to those around you, helps us keep one another safe and stop the spread of the virus.”

A new video has been launched by the Suffolk Resilience Forum ahead of the Bank Holiday to encourage people to Add Kindness to their daily lives and help keep people Covid-safe. View it here. The Add Kindness campaign aims to encourage people to act with consideration for others when out and about. This may include wearing a mask, or keeping your distance, when appropriate.