No New Covid Deaths In Suffolk – And SCC Set To Roll Out Own Test & Trace System

Suffolk has recorded its first week of no coronavirus deaths since the disease arrived in March

New figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that in the week ending July 24 (week 30) there were no Covid-related deaths in the county.

And Ipswich Hospital has cut back on the number of ward areas used for coronavirus patients as Covid-19 admissions fell to just three.

According to the latest statistics Suffolk’s countywide coronavirus infection rate had risen slightly, with 33 positive coronavirus tests recorded across the county in the week up to Sunday, July 26.

That is up from 13 the week before, and equates to a rate of 3.3 positive tests per 100,000 people, an increase from 1.7 the previous week.

Despite this, Suffolk still has one of the lowest infection rates in the country, and the rise could be down to more people being tested.

The advice is still to be alert and maintain social distancing – but this is positive news – especially since the good weather has brought people to the coast and increased visitor numbers in all areas.

Since the pandemic began in March there have been 2,694 cases of coronavirus in Suffolk and 558 people have tragically lost their lives to the disease.

349 of these deaths have been in hospitals and 186 in care homes.

In other news, with only 74% of contacts being followed up nationwide, Suffolk County Council is investigating a way to roll out its own test-and-trace system, which public health chiefs say could operate independently of the government’s national scheme if required.

Latest contact tracing figures for the county, up to July 24, show that 131 (39%) of the 342 people identified as contacts of confirmed cases had not been followed up.

But Suffolk County Council’s public health team is now looking to develop a new system, which would work alongside the national scheme and use local knowledge to narrow the gap even further.

Such a system could take on a standalone role if required, SCC chiefs have said.

Under the proposed model, SCC would be able to employ local knowledge to follow up with contacts not reached by the national scheme.

Senior staff who will be responsible for delivering a new test-and-trace system in the county have already been recruited, with additional roles set to be advertised throughout August and September.

 

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