Somerset COVID 19 latest figures

The headline number of confirmed cases of COVID 19 has fallen this week. 507 new cases were confirmed across Somerset for the week to 25 November. That compares with 779 new cases the week before (to 18 November) and 521 for the week to 11 November.

We would caution that it is still too early to be discerning a trend. Especially as there is evidence that the governments recording system is still not what it could be. A surge can still be the result of errors in recording the data in the correct period.

But before we move on, please bear with us as we give our health warning on what these figures represent, and what they do not represent. Unlike NHS data these numbers include care homes and incidences of COVID 19 “at home”. The data is prepared to 25 November for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 13 November). The reason for this delay is to keep the numbers accurate – or should we say as accurate as possible. 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.

So what is the data telling us? At best the number of new cases is flattening out. The totals however remain significantly higher than they were during the first outbreak in the Spring.

We know that deaths tend to run a fortnight after a surge in infections. Last week we reported 6 deaths all in hospitals for the week to 6 November. This week there were a further 8 deaths, 7 in hospital and 1 in a care home. That leaves the total number of deaths for the Somerset County Council area since the start of the outbreak at 228. Once again the majority of deaths from COVID 19 have been residents of Sedgemoor, 6 of the 8 recorded.

The R number has been reduced. we can only reiterate that anything below national level it tends to be a guess. But with preparations to come out of lockdown tomorrow, we are waiting to see which tier of restrictions Somerset will be placed in. Up until last week, Somerset or at least the South West has had the highest R number in the country. this week it is quoted as a range from 1.0 to 1.3. This puts us on a par with the east of England and below the South East.

The expectation in Somerset has been we will be placed in the lowest tier. That is not a given. Bearing in mind the number of cases and an R number that remains too high, we may yet get an unpleasant shock tomorrow.

It remains the view of The Leveller® that lockdowns have probably been necessary.

But only because of an abject failure of government to create a workable test and trace system. It is our view that less time and money should have been spent on a largely pointless app. More could and still should be done to use local tracing, funding local bodies to do the work. Not large organisations run with central government with centralised control. A further lockdown must be avoided at all costs. But that requires a significant change in the approach to testing and the track and trace system.

In the meantime, as ever here are the latest figures so you can draw your own conclusions

One comment

  • Test and Trace has been handed another £15 billion for next year, despite scepticism about its performance, and another £733 million has been put in to the pot for buying vaccines. Mass testing and contact tracing gets the lion’s share of a £21.2 billion extra for health in 2021-22, taking total spending on Test and Trace to £37 billion.

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