Somerset COVID 19 latest data

This week, to 12 January, there were 6,618 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. That represents a similar number to last week. Given the scale of current infection numbers, there is little consolation that the number is slightly lower this week.

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

  • 6,476 to 12 January
  • 6,618 to 5 January
  • 4,289 to 29 December
  • 3,130 to 22 December
  • 2,804 to 15 December
  • 2,521 to 8 December
  • 2,534 to 1 December
  • 2,399 to 24 November
  • 2,570 to 17 November
  • 2,283 to 10 November
  • 3,166 to 3 November

Once again every district in the patch of Somerset we cover had a caseload over 500 per 100,000 population. The hotspot this week is Taunton once again with 829 new cases up from 783 last week. That’s four consecutive weeks of significant growth in case numbers.

Yeovil too has actually seen an this week to 659 new cases from to 568 last week. The rise in new Bridgwater case numbers also continued, up nearly 40% with 595 new cases compared to just 429 last week. Frome however is showing some sign that case numbers are starting to peak. This week there were 366 new cases compared to last week’s 346.

Elsewhere Wellington has seen case numbers fall significantly after a spike last week. This week there are 248 new cases reported compared to 362 last week. Chard though has seen a rapid increase in case numbers, 206 this week compared to 149 last and 78 the week before. Shepton recorded 146 new cases and Wells 121. This week case numbers also shot up in Crewkerne with 123 cases compared to just 70 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 12 January for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 31 December). 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 8 deaths reported from our region, 5 in hospital and 2 in a care home and 1 at home. While that may sound a significant number, it is in fact a reflection on how the statistics are reported. Last week we reported 11 people had died in the week to 17 December. This week’s figures are for a fortnight, not a week, to 31 December. So equivalent to 4 deaths a week. So really relatively few deaths (so far) despite the rising infection numbers. That said we offer our sympathies to the family and friends of those who have passed away as a result of the pandemic.

More concerning this week are hospitalisations. The last 3 days reported saw totals of 50, 60 and then 70 people in hospital, mostly at Musgrove in Taunton. That is a change as so far, the number of hospitalisations over Christmas and New Year had been relatively low. Even now the numbers are still below the peak at the end of October when the delta variant was prevelant.

The R number has finally moved from 0.9-1.1 to 1.0-1.3. This at least, belatedly, reflects reality. Infection numbers are increasing and an R number of 0.9-1.1 did not reflect that. Bear in mind the R number only reflects infection number and makes no allowance for the severity of infections.

The rise in cases does seem to have seen some renewed effort to vaccinate the under 18s. 816 more young people aged 12-15 were vaccinated in the period to 2 January. However just 284 16-17 year olds were vaccinated although 80% have now had at least one vaccination. The booster programme has now reached 80% of all over 50 year olds. And at least 40% in every age cohort over 18 have now had a booster. So there is some suggestion that the vaccination programme is reaching people in volume.

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

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