Somerset COVID 19 – latest figures

This week (to 3 February) there have been a further 1,408 confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. The current trend does now appear to be falling away from a peak at 6 January. However as we have said too many times before, it is still early days to draw firm conclusions. The table below shows tracks the weekly number of infections in recent weeks:

  • 1,090 to 3 February
  • 1,408 to 27 January
  • 1753 to 20 January
  • 1564 to 13 January
  • 2230 to 6 January
  • 1475 to 30 December
  • 1002 to 23 December
  • 672 to 16 December
  • 492 to 9 December

Before we go any further however, our usual health warning about the figures.  Unlike NHS data these numbers include care homes and incidences of COVID 19 “at home”. The data is prepared to 3 February for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 22 January). 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.

It has been notable that the number of new infections in Chard has halved since last week and numbers across the county have slowly started falling.

Sadly the week to 22 January was one of the worst for deaths in our county since the pandemic began. With 63 deaths recorded and the total now standing at 535 since the outbreak began, that means more than 10% of those deaths were in the week to 22 January. It is a sobering thought and our condolences go out to all those families mourning the loss of loved ones. In statistical terms it is sadly what we should expect with the number of deaths tracking roughly two weeks behind the number of infections. The peak of infections, over 2,000 in one week was in the week to 6 January.

In the first phase of the pandemic Sedgemoor had experienced significantly more deaths than the rest of Somerset. In the last few months that situation has changed markedly. South Somerset has now had the largest number of deaths for several weeks but the distribution across the county over time has become more even:

  • 148 South Somerset
  • 133 Sedgemoor
  • 131 Somerset West and Taunton
  • 123 Mendip

The R number for the South West this week is reported to have fallen. It is now within the range of 0.8 to 1.1. We can only reiterate how unhelpful that range is. 0.8 would mean the infection numbers are not rising, 1.1 would mean they are increasing! We would recommend paying more attention to the actual number of infections. However it remains a fact that as last week, this is still the highest R number range in the country, along with similar figures for the North West, North East and the Midlands.

As ever we attach the full data set so readers can see for themselves and form their own conclusions.

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