Somerset – latest COVID 19 data

This week to 24 August, there were 1,911 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. If case numbers are declining nationally, they are clearly not here in Somerset. Despite the bump in numbers again this week, looking at the figures overall in recent weeks there is no obvious trend. The best we could say is that they have plateaued since mid July with peaks and troughs since.

This week the worst hotspot is Bridgwater with 376 new cases (and a rate over 500 per 100,000). Taunton with 226 new cases, followed by Yeovil with 156 are the other hotspots. The table below tracks the overall weekly number of infections in Somerset in recent weeks.

  • 1,911 to 18 August
  • 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 18 August for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 6 August). 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 3 further deaths from COVID 19 in our area. All three died in hospital. Every death is a sad story and our heart goes out to the families, and loved ones of those who died. However now we have seen deaths from COVID again for 2 consecutive weeks we may expect more in the week ahead.

From a cold statistical point of view, the number of deaths remains very low given the number of cases being reported. The expected lag between the rise in infection numbers and recordings of deaths has also lengthened. We will continue to monitor any changes as soon as new data is published.

This month for the first time we have access to the number of hospitalisations. It is interesting to see the largest numbers by far are at Yeovil (35) rather than Musgrove (11). However the trend in rising hospitalisations from 20 July is significant. However as the numbers remain below 50 in total, that seems relatively low. Especially given that over 1,000 new infections have been recorded every week since that date.

The R number (reproduction rate) for the South West this week has been reduced again to a range of 0.8 to 1.1. We do find this range particularly unhelpful. At 0.8 the case load should be falling each week. At 1.1 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. Starting with good news, 80% of Somerset residents over the age of 18 has had at least 1 jab. at least 50% of all 30-39 year olds have now had two jabs.

This leaves the under 18s. Frustratingly there is still no clarity in policy. We were supposed to see 16-18 year olds being called for vaccination. But in the last week just 180 under 18s have had a vaccination.

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

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