Somerset COVID 19 cases accelerating
The latest report from Somerset County Council shows a further 74 confirmed cases of COVID 19 in the last week. This is a tripling in the number of new cases over the number reported last week (26). However, that said it is starting from a low base. It is worth remembering that across the south west at the moment, we have significantly lower numbers of COVID 19 cases.
First, with our apologies, our usual health warning about what the figures are and what they are not. Unlike NHS data these numbers include care homes and incidences of COVID 19 “at home”. The data is prepared to 23 September for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 11 September). 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.
There is no doubt that 74 new cases is a lot compared with 26. However for some proper context we need to look at the week before when there were 58 new cases. The numbers are certainly trending in the wrong direction, but we would not characterise this as anything close to the situation in the north of England.
We should also note in passing that the apparent spike in the number of cases in Mendip we reported on last week, appears to have dampened down. New cases are back in line with the other Somerset districts.
That said, if we want to keep our local economy open and thriving, we need to act. That means take sensible precautions, follow government hygiene rules and act sensibly. Given the relatively low population density in the south west, there is no reason for Somerset to see critical numbers of cases.
The R number for the region is now quoted in a range from 1.1 to 1.3. This makes it one of the lowest in the country – BUT – it is above one which gives an indication of risk/. The risk that the number of cases could spiral upwards – if we do not continue to take sensible precautions.
Happily there were no new deaths reported in the week to 18 September (the latest figures released). There have been no hospital deaths recorded since the middle of June. The total of deaths in Somerset from COVID 19 remains at 206.
As ever you can find the latest dataset here so you can read for your self and draw your own conclusions