This week to 22 September, there were 1,453 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. Whilst this appears to be similar to last week, it is too early to draw conclusions. Equally, whilst Government notes the infections have peaked, that suggestion too appears a little premature. It is tempting to say case numbers are falling. But for now the only thing we can say for the month of September, is case numbers are not rising. Given that schools have been back for over two weeks, this is actually encouraging.

The table below tracks the overall weekly number of infections in Somerset in recent weeks.

  • 1,453 to 22 September
  • 1,432 to 15 September
  • 2,148 to 8 September
  • 2,132 to 1 September
  • 2,763 to 25 August
  • 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

This week there are no obvious hotspots. New cases are spread pretty evenly across the county. As you would expect the highest numbers are still in the towns. With 121 new cases, Yeovil has the highest number, then Taunton which had 110 new cases and Bridgwater 105. Frome has just new 98 cases this week down significantly from a peak of 155 last week.

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 22 September for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 10 September). 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.

Once again this week we have had an update on deaths from COVID 19. Only one death was recorded, in hospital.

This week reported figures for hospitalisations remains around 50. That was pretty constant across the week and the majority (80%) are still in beds at Musgrove.

The R number (reproduction rate) for the South West this week remains in a range of 0.9 to 1.1. This suggests the number of infections is now stable and unlikely to rise. However, that said, the number has not proved an effective predictor of case number in the past couple of months.

The vaccination programme remains of paramount importance and the focus remains on all cohorts aged under 30. We seem to have reached a point where 90% of over 18s have had a least one jab. More than 70% of over 18s have now had two jabs..

The deceleration in the rate of under 18s being vaccinated has continued. A further 752 were vaccinated this week, down from 1,123 we reported last week. At a time when 12-15 year olds will now be called forward for vaccination, and nationally 40% of 17-18 year olds have been vaccinated, these numbers remain disappointing. Especially as latest figures suggest most of the new infections reported are in the unvaccinated population.

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

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