Rise in infection rates coming from increased testing
- Credit: PA
A slight increase in coronavirus infection rates in some Suffolk districts has been attributed to increased testing in places like schools.
Data released by the Government this week showed that some areas of Suffolk had seen a slight increase in their case rate in the past seven days; this included Babergh, East Suffolk and Ipswich.
Other areas of Suffolk - Mid Suffolk and West Suffolk - showed no such increase, with cases either staying relatively stable or continuing to decline.
Ipswich had the most notable increase from 41.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to March 5 to 56.2 cases per 100,000 people in the week to March 12.
In Ipswich the increase in the infection rate came from a small increase in the number of positive tests; which went from 57 to 77.
Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, said that the increases seen in parts of the county could be attributed to greater testing in some areas, such as schools, and that it was good news.
“We are testing more people in businesses, communities and schools across Suffolk and have found more cases as a result," said Mr Keeble.
"This is good news as finding these cases allows us to interrupt chains of ongoing transmission, so isolating if you give a positive result keeps other people safe."
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Levels of testing in schools have increased since pupils returned to the classroom just over a week ago; with secondary school students encouraged to get tests twice a week.
Despite this positivity, Mr Keeble reaffirmed the importance of sticking to restrictions particularly as the country begins to emerge from lockdown.
“The government’s roadmap to the UK’s emergence from lockdown will result in increased contact between households," said Mr Keeble.
"While Suffolk has done really well with vaccination, the majority of people of a working age population are not vaccinated yet which makes transmission more likely.
“Now is not the time to let things slip. Getting vaccinated, undertaking regular testing and continuing to follow the guidance are all key steps in the road map back to a more normal way of life.”