Somerset – latest COVID 19 data

This week to 21 July, there were 2,056 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. The continued doubling of the number of new cases inevitably looks alarming. But it is pretty much in line with predictions. There were nearly 300 cases in Yeovil alone in the last week. Several areas of the county showing infection rates in excess of 500 per 100,000. It is hard to look at numbers we last saw months ago without feeling worried. But equally this is exactly what we have to expect is we are going to live with the virus. As opposed to putting our lives on hold for it. Of course it is still unwise to jump to rapid conclusions when we know this virus is fast moving and unpredictable. The table below illustrates the point. It tracks the weekly number of infections in recent weeks.

  • 2,056 to 21 July
  • 989 to 14 July
  • 470 to 7 July
  • 452 to 1 July
  • 257 to 23 June
  • 110 to 16 June
  • 50 to 9 June
  • 31 to 2 June

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 21 July for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 9 July). 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.

This week there was a further update on deaths from COVID 19 in our area, to 9 July. And once again we are pleased/relieved to report there have been no new deaths recorded. Which remains encouraging. This is the crux of the matter. If infection levels are high but both hospitalisations and deaths remain low (ideally negligible). That would show that we have achieved an equilibrium with the outbreak that we can all live with. Interesting the total deaths from all sources over the last week was significantly lower than the five year average for the time of year. Maybe best not to read too much into that just yet!

We will continue to monitor the figures for deaths each week to see how that is panning out.

The R number (reproduction rate) for the South West this week has been retained in a range of 1.5 to 2.0. It feels right realistic. It is indicative of the rising case numbers and the potential for them to grow exponentially.

The vaccination programme remains of paramount importance with a focus now on all cohorts aged under 30. At least 90% of all those over 50 have now had two jabs. Progress in vaccinating the younger part of our population is moving rapidly. 80% of those aged 18-49 have now had at least 1 jab. 2,380 under 18s have had a vaccination. However it is is not yet clear if, as a matter of policy, all under 18s will be vaccinated or not.

Last week a further 4,741 of those aged 18-24 in Somerset were vaccinated. In addition 1,324 of our 25-30s were vaccinated too.

However, as always, we have attached the full data set here so you can draw your own conclusions:

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