This week to 6 October, there were 2,260 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. As we have repeatedly warned, there is no evidence for a decline in cases in Somerset. Despite government suggestions that cases have reached a peak and the pandemic is in decline. It certainly is not showing those signs in Somerset. As we suggested last week, the only thing we can say is the trend in case numbers is not rising. It is settled in a band of between 1,250 and 2,500 per week. And there are still no signs of that changing anytime soon

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

  • 2,260 to 6 October
  • 1,876 to 29 September
  • 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 several COVID hotspots around the county. Although case numbers are not that high in all cases, 10 areas of Somerset show over 500 cases per 100,000 people. For instance Minehead may have only had 48 new cases, but the rate was over 500 per 100,000. With 277 cases this week Frome has the worst outbreak in Somerset this week. However high case numbers have also been reported in Taunton (284), Bridgwater (211) and Yeovil (175).

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 6 October for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 24 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.

In the last fortnight there has been an uptick in the number of deaths recorded from COVID 19. This is a more worrying trend as numbers of deaths had been relatively small since the end of the last lockdown in July. We continue to monitor these figures closely. There were five deaths, last week and 6 more this. Of those 5 were in hospital and 1 in a care home.

There was better news on hospitalisations which continue to fall. From 32 reported last week (well figures are in arrears so this was to 21 September) to just 22 this (to 28 September). The R number is now reported at 0.8-1.1 which looks much loser to reality than the number reported last week. For some time now the R number has not been reflecting the reality of what is happening on the ground. Case numbers are quite simply not falling. So any number below 1 makes little sense.

The most worrying figures this week are for vaccination of the under 18 cohort. This seems to be grinding to a halt and that is of great concern. Especially when it appears the majority of new cases are in the unvaccinated part of the population. This week just 268 under 18’s were vaccinated, compared to 358 last week and 752 the week before.

As ever here is the full dataset so you can form your own conclusions:

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