Somerset COVID 19 latest data
In the last week, to 23 March, there were 7,677 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. That is the second highest weekly total since the pandemic. the highest being in February this year.
The table below tracks the overall weekly number of infections in Somerset in recent weeks.
- 7,677 for the week to 23 March
- 5.966 for 1 week to 16 March
- 6,033 for 2 weeks to 9 March
- 3,368 to 23 February
- 4,213 to 16 February
- 5,631 to 9 February
- 10,133 to 2 February
- 5,393 to 26 January
- 4,558 to 19 January
- 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
Once again, every area of the county now has infection rates above 500 per 100,000 population. And the case load has increased significantly in the larger towns of Somerset.
Once again the hotspot is Taunton with over 1,000 cases reported. Up from the 930 we reported just last week. In Bridgwater, cases have risen sharply. There were 561 new cases this week, compared with 377 last week and just 273 the week before that. Similarly in Yeovil cases have followed a similar pattern with 697 cases this week, 462 reported last week and 324 the week before that. Frome has 336 new cases reported this week, over 50% higher than the 211 new cases reported last week.
In Chard things have been a little more steady with 147 new cases this week against 136 new cases reported last week. Similarly in Wellington the numbers have risen to 263 cases reported this week compared with 182 last time around.
In Crewkerne numbers have generally been lower but here too there were rises. 120 this week compared to 89 the last time we reported. In Wells too there was a further steep rise, with 142 new cases, up from 89 last week and 29 the week before.
Whilst the large numbers are concerning, the most important figures to focus on are deaths and hospitalisations. This is what will tell us if COVID is indeed something we can live with. Or not.
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 23 March for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 11 March). 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 6 deaths reported. 4 deaths was in hospital, 1 in a care home setting and 1 “other. As we’ve said before this will tend to reflect the lower rates of infection of the past 3 or 4 weeks. The impact in the sudden rapid rise in cases is unlikely to translate into an increase in deaths for a couple of weeks at least.
Once again the most worrying aspect of this weeks COVID figures has been hospitalisations. NHS statisticians are at pains to point out that these are people in hospital who have COVID. However they are not necessarily in hospital because of COVID. Many may be in hospital for something different, but happen to have COVID too. The problem is that this is anecdotal. Until public bodies actually split out the data into something more meaningful, we can only guess at the significance.
In the last week there were between 140 and 160 people in hospital in Somerset with COVID. That compares with 130 last week and a previous high of 90 in October last year.
The R number has been increased again to 1.0-1.4 this week. That does seem to reflect what is happening on the ground. It does suggest numbers should be rising and they certainly are.
As ever here is the full dataset so you can form your own conclusions: