In November 2020 the numbers of people with Covid-19 was increasing nationally.  On behalf of the local Framlingham Covid response team, I have been recording the number of confirmed positive cases, to help target specific help or messaging to try to curb the spread of the disease.

The figures in the graph cover a 7 day period in the Framlingham and Hacheston area, from the PHE interactive map (https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map).  There’s a lag in reporting of 5 days.  It is an indicator only of frequencies of Covid-19 infection, and probably an underestimate.

  • The vaccination programme has weakened the link between infection and serious illness, as well as reducing transmission. This is good news.
  • The risk remains of long Covid, serious illness especially in compromised people, and risks to the local surgery (who are overstretched currently) schools and businesses.
  • When larger groups of people meet indoors for a relatively long period, reducing the possibility of transmission by good ventilation, social distancing etc is important.
  • Much depends on remaining vigilant over the coming months and observing guidelines to reduce transmission.
  • We should continue to take care of one another as a community as part of learning to live with the virus.

TIMELINE/EVENT/LOCAL OUTCOME

2nd December 2020 lockdown ended: there was a rapid increase in recorded positive cases associated with the Christmas Day relaxation, which peaked on 5th January.

4th January lockdown:  a rapid decrease in positive cases from 5th January, then a slowing decline, possibly because of transmission from those who were infected over Christmas. It took about 5 weeks of lockdown to return to Christmas levels.  Older people were disproportionally affected, and there were hospitalisations and deaths.

Vaccination programme started locally in January: older people first.

Schools re-opened on 8th March with restrictions:  not associated with an increase in infections.

Easing of lockdown from 12th April:  small increases in local infections.

5 months from February until early July: there were few recorded infections generally.  East Suffolk was relatively unaffected, apart from a few small increases.  Suffolk and Norfolk avoided a surge in positive cases that many others experienced.

19th July Government restrictions replaced by Government guidelines:  there were 2 peaks of infection, which reached levels similar to those seen in early January 2021; one on 17th July, the other on 31st July.  Probably associated with end-of-term events at a school, since pupils were sent home to self-isolate, maybe with the Latitude festival.  Evidence from the map of England indicated that the delta variant of Covid-19 had established itself in Suffolk and Norfolk.  

16th August restrictions for self-isolation relaxed: a 3rd peak before the Bank Holiday followed, which may have been an event in mid-August, but no information was available to draw a conclusion.  Since then the number of reported positive cases to date remains variable and high.  There is no obvious trend or explanation other than restrictions are relaxed, many people are resuming a more normal way of life and schools have returned.  Younger people are disproportionally affected.

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