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What does the latest coronavirus data tell us about Suffolk ahead of Government's review of tiered restrictions?



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For the last two weeks, Suffolk has, like much of the country, been under Tier 2 restrictions – or the 'high' alert level – to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Tomorrow, the Government is set to review the country's tiers – while London and parts of Hertfordshire and Essex, which neighbours parts of Suffolk, will be moved into the highest alert level, Tier 3 ('very high') as of midnight.

So what does the most recent coronavirus case data tell us about the situation in Suffolk, before the decision is made?

As the Government is set to review the country's tiered restrictions, this is what the latest Covid-19 data tells us about the situation in Suffolk
As the Government is set to review the country's tiered restrictions, this is what the latest Covid-19 data tells us about the situation in Suffolk

At the time of Suffolk entering into Tier 2 two weeks ago, Suffolk's rate was 78.9 cases per 100,000 people – below the average for England as a whole.

After the announcement on November 26, Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said the latest public health advice justified putting Suffolk into Tier 2, despite it having one of the lowest infection rates in the country at that stage.

The latest data – for the seven days to December 10 – shows the rate has increased to 95.9 cases per 100,000.

This is still well below the average for England, which currently stands at 184 per 100,000.

At this time, the only area of Suffolk with a case rate higher than the average in England is Ipswich, where the rate is 199.4.

In the seven days to December 10, 273 positive cases were reported in the Ipswich area – up by 79 (40.7 per cent) from the previous week.

But all the other areas of the county have rates below the average for England.

The most recent data shows the rate in Babergh is 89.1, 78.2 in East Suffolk, 61.6 in Mid Suffolk and 64.8 in West Suffolk.

The decision on which tier a place is in is based on the criteria set out by the Government in the Covid-19 Winter Plan, and includes: case detection rates in all age groups; case detection rates in the over 60s; the rate at which cases are rising or falling; positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken); and pressure on the NHS.

Most of the county's coronavirus case rates are below the average for England – and below those in the parts of neighbouring Essex which will enter Tier 3 tomorrow.

However, Ipswich has a higher case rate than Maldon (189.4), which is one of the areas of Essex facing the toughest restrictions as of midnight.

The final decision on what tier Suffolk will be in will lay with the Government, and we can expect an update on whether the county will stay in Tier 2, or move into stricter or more lenient restrictions, tomorrow.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk