New data reveals coronavirus rates in Suffolk climb by more than a third, but infections remain lower than the national average
Suffolk's coronavirus infection rates remain below the nationwide average, new statistics have revealed.
But alarmingly the new figures, released by Public Health England last night, show infections of the virus increasing across the county with rates up in Suffolk by almost 35 per cent.
The data, for the week beginning November 2, show rates rocketing in Babergh by 115 per cent - with 157 confirmed cases of the virus.
The spike focuses in Hadleigh, where rates increased by 200 per cent, after a Magdalen House Care Home saw 45 people infected with the coronavirus, as well as an outbreak in Hadleigh High School.
Earlier this week Stewart Keeble, director of Public Health Suffolk, said the county council was targeting the town to stop the spread and Babergh District Council urged people to 'pull together' to keep infection rates low.
But despite the sudden rise in Hadleigh, Babergh remains just below the national average for infection rates.
You can see what is happening in your neighbourhood on Suffolk News' infection tracker, where the latest statistics reveal all other districts of Suffolk have rates below the England-wide average.
In Mid Suffolk the number of new infections has climbed by just over 19 per cent, in Ipswich new cases have increased by a quarter, and in East Suffolk they have gone up by almost 39 per cent.
West Suffolk has remained more-or-less flat week on week. But in neighbouring East Cambridgeshire, which covers some parts of Newmarket, cases have climbed by just over 29 per cent - or 14 - to 62.
Because of the time lag of releasing the data, virus rates could be different by now.
If climbing infection rates continue it could pile pressure on Boris Johnson, the prime minister, to extend the England-wide lockdown.
Professor Susan Michie, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has said the next two weeks will be 'absolutely critical' for ensuring the severe measures end as planned on December 2.
"I think the next two weeks is going to be absolutely critical," she told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.
"'They're going to be a very challenging two weeks, partly because of the weather, partly because, I think, the promise of a vaccine may be making people feel complacent.
"But the vaccine is very unlikely to come in until the end of the year or beginning of next year and that's going to make no difference to the current second wave.
"So I think for the next two weeks, everybody has to really get all their resolve together."