Somerset COVID 19 cases – small rise

The latest data released by Somerset County Council for COVID 19 infections and deaths shows that the infection remains under control. However since shops and pubs reopened the number of new cases has been rising steadily.

But first our usual health warning about the figures. Unlike NHS data this includes care homes and incidences of COVID 19 “at home”. The data is prepared to 24 August (although different dates are used for some of the figures). The reason for this delay is to keep the numbers accurate. The daily totals published by the NHS are subject to constant revision, as not unreasonably, the data is constantly being updated to improve accuracy. It is also worth noting that the SCC area does not include North Somerset (so Weston hospital) or BANES (So the RUH in Bath) both of which are separate administrative areas.

The first thing to say about the new figures is that there is nothing alarming in them. A rise in cases was to be expected. Between 9 August and 25 August 42 new cases were identified. That is across 2 weeks. The rate is higher, but arguably not significantly higher than it has been in recent weeks. For instance between 3 August and 9 August 14 new cases were identified.

However it is not surprising to see the published R number still in the range of 0.8-1.1. In other words showing the potential for a further significant outbreak, if we do not continue to take sensible precautions.

The number of deaths continues to tail off. There was one further death in a care home in the 2 weeks to 14 August taking the number of deaths in the Somerset County Council area to 203. This remains, as a percentage of the population, significantly below the national and regional average.

It is interesting to note that many Somerset care homes have escaped outbreaks of the virus altogether. A lot of attention has, rightly, been placed on the fact that 50% of COVID 19 deaths in Somerset were in care homes. So it is interesting to note that over 70% of care homes across the county have had no outbreak since the pandemic began.

As ever we offer our readers the latest data set produced for Somerset so you can analyse the figures and draw your own conclusions.

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