This week, to 29 December, there were 4,289 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Somerset. This week there has been a more significant uptick in case numbers, with over 1,000 more cases than last week. It is still not the worst week for new cases in Somerset, but numbers have risen each week for the last 4 weeks.

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

  • 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

This week all the larger towns across the county had a caseload over 500 per 100,000 population. Wells, Shepton, Yeovil, Frome and Bridgwater were all over 500 per 100,000. The hotspot this week is Taunton once again with 489 new cases up from 313 last week. That’s two consecutive weeks of significant growth in case numbers.

Yeovil has actually seen a significant increase this week to 366 new cases from to 264 last week. The rise in new Bridgwater case numbers is finally showing signs of peaking with 279 new cases compared to 261 last week, 223 the week before and 178 the week before that. Frome is also showing a relatively small rise in case number. This week there were 225 new cases compared to last week’s 205.

Other towns with a rate of over 500 per 100,000 were Wellington with 135 new cases, Chard with 78, Shepton 76 and Wells with 70.

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 29 December for cases (although different dates are used for some of the other figures – for instance deaths are reported to 10 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 3 deaths reported from our region, 2 in hospital and 1 in a care home. This appears to be at the same level as for the last couple of weeks. Again it suggests that even if infection rates are rising, more serious infections are not. At least not yet.

In the same vein the numbers in hospital with COVID in Somerset were similar also to last week. If anything they were falling. Over the course of the week there were between 30 and 40 people in either Musgrove or Yeovil hospitals. So again more infections but (as yet) no surge in hospitalisations.

The R number is still reported at 0.9-1.1 which as we’ve said before, is not that helpful. The trend appears to be stable and that is indicative of an R number of 1. So to be fair we could say the range quoted appears reasonable.

The vaccination of the under 18 cohort remains sluggish. Just 507 more young people in the 12-15 age bracket were vaccinated compared to 608 last week. Less than 60% of this age group are vaccinated. This week just 227 in the 16-18 cohort were vaccinated albeit just shy of 80% are vaccinated.

There is much better news from the booster vaccination programme. 80-95% of the age cohorts over 65 have had their boosters already. Christmas does not seem to have slowed down the race to get the under 50s vaccinated. In the last week 31,637 received booster vaccinations.

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

One Comment

  1. Joy+ Reply

    I’ve got it at the moment, though I’m not in your figures as I’m abroad. Just a stuffy nose; I’ve had far worse colds. There will be people who don’t even know they’ve got it so the figures are probably higher and we’ll all have had it soon.

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