Somerset COVID 19 latest figures published
Today Somerset County Council published their latest weekly snapshot of COVID 19. The headline figures shows the total number of people who have tested positive to date in Somerset at 3,625. That represents 521 new cases identified in the last week. For the moment the recent trend is for the number of cases to rise each week. however the increase is till notably less than in other areas of the country.
before we go on, first our usual health warning. If you haven’t followed our reporting before, please read this paragraph carefully. It is important to understand what these figures are, and just as important, what they are not. Unlike NHS data these numbers include care homes and incidences of COVID 19 “at home”. The data is prepared to 4 November for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 23 October). 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.
This week we have to report three deaths, two in hospital and one in a care home. This is the first week since the beginning of June to record more than one death from COVID in Somerset. We have of course been warned this would happen. As the number of cases has continued to rise, it was inevitable that the number of deaths would follow.
Returning to the number of confirmed cases, we have previously noted that numbers here are significantly below those in the North of England. Equally worth noting (as the graph shows) Somerset case levels are well below those in the South West too.
The R number range quoted for Somerset is, in our estimation meaningless. However looking at the South West, it remains in the range of 1.2-1.4. That suggests in this region cases are likely to continue growing. Even as they drop off in other areas of the country where the R number is falling. The South west and South East now have the highest estimated R number in the country.
That is a warning worth heeding. Whatever impact the lock down has, and whether it was the right thing to do are live issues. However the public safety responsibility to wear masks, socially distance and wash hands, remains an imperative.
There is of course talk of a vaccine. It is not here yet. It may not be here as fast as some are predicting. In the short term, the only way of protesting ourselves is to be sensible.
As ever we publish the full dataset so our readers can draw their own conclusions.