Covid rates increase slightly in parts of Suffolk and north Essex
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Coronavirus case rates are rising in some districts of Suffolk and north Essex as the UK's R number also rises slightly.
According to the latest government data there were 292 positive coronavirus tests in Suffolk in the week up to March 16 — 53 more positive tests than the week before.
The latest statistics compare the seven days to March 16 with the seven days to March 9.
Data for the most recent four days has been excluded, as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.
Three districts of Suffolk have seen a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
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Ipswich has seen the largest rise, going from 47.5 cases per 100,000 people in the week to March 9 to 70.1 cases per 100,000 in the most recent data.
East Suffolk and Mid Suffolk are the only other districts that have seen a rise.
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In north Essex, Uttlesford has seen a rise in case rates.
Part of this uptick in positive tests could be down to the recently introduced testing in schools.
Last week, it was reported that this testing had found 47 cases in Suffolk during the first week pupils returned to the classroom.
Nationally the UK's R number has increased slightly from 0.6-0.8 to 0.6-0.9.
The R number represents the average number of people each person with Covid-19 goes on to infect.
When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.
However, this all comes as the government announced that over half of the population has now had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Government data up to March 19 suggests that 26,853,407 people aged 18 and over have now received a first dose of the jab – around 51% of the population.
The Department of Health and Social Care said it remains “on track” to offer the vaccine to all over-50s by April 15.