Somerset COVID 19 latest data

This week to 11 August, there were 1,481 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. We continue to hear commentary about case numbers declining nationally. Not here. Well not exactly anyway. Looking at the figures over recent weeks the best we could say is that they have plateaued. Whilst predictions of new infections doubling each week still seem misplaced, the idea of numbers falling does too. As ever all it really proves is you cannot draw too many conclusions too quickly.

This week the infection hotspots seem to be Taunton with 210 new cases, followed by Bridgwater with 172. The table below tracks the overall weekly number of infections in Somerset in recent weeks.

  • 1,481 to 11 August
  • 1,407 to 4 August
  • 1,285 to 28 July
  • 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 11 August for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 30 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 were 2 further deaths from COVID 19 in our area. These are the first current deaths we have recorded since June. One person died in hospital, one at home. Every death is a sad story and our heart goes out to the families, and loved ones of those who died.

From a cold statistical point of view, the number of deaths remains very low given the number of cases being reported. Especially given a sustained level of infections of at least 1,000 a week for the last month. We will continue to monitor any changes as soon as new data is published.

The R number (reproduction rate) for the South West this week has been reduced again to a range of 0.8 to 1.2. We do find this range particularly unhelpful. At 0.8 the case load should be falling each week. At 1.2 it should be growing. The range quoted is all but saying we don’t actually know!

The vaccination programme remains of paramount importance with a focus now on all cohorts aged under 30. However looking at the latest figures, there is a notable slowing in the numbers being vaccinated. That said this is an inevitable consequence given that current advice is to leave 8 weeks between 1st and 2nd jabs. Having been very successful in implementing a rapid 1st jab program, there will be delays waiting for the 8 weeks to be up

This leaves the under 18s. Frustratingly there is still no clarity in policy. Are all under 18s will be vaccinated or not? A further 172 under 18s have had a vaccination in the last week. A number that is barely touching the population of under 18 year olds who are now the most vulnerable.

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

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