Suffolk over 60s and nursing homes cause Covid concern

13:28 6 January 2022

Rising cases of Covid-19 among those over 60s are currently the biggest area of ​​concern, according to Suffolk’s public health chief.

Warnings have also been issued that the level of infection in the local community means that the virus cannot be kept out of nursing homes – with around 300 employees tested positive in 83 settings.

Public Health Director Stuart Keeble told today’s meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board that the infection had worked its way through from young to adults of parental age and now to over 60s.

He said: “The most important thing for me, which is the area that worries me, is the increase in the number of over 60s,” he told health, council and police leaders.

“It has more than doubled in the last week, and it makes sense both from the background spread, but also the mix we saw over Christmas and New Year.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, said a dedicated team worked with the council

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk
– Credit: Archant

“It contains a higher proportion, which may be more vulnerable, where the immunity from the vaccine may not be quite as effective due to underlying health conditions, and which is likely to start playing through in the coming weeks, both in terms of hospitalizations and deaths. ”

He stressed that the county “was not in the same place” as last winter, but would still be “extremely challenging”.

Suffolk’s current Covid-19 infection rate is 1,360.7 per 100,000 people in the middle of the wave of the Omicron variant. According to data, positive cases from PCR tests have shown an average of 25% compared to about 5% before the latest wave.

According to figures, the case frequency among the 90-year-olds and upwards tripled between Christmas Day and 30 December.

Sir. Keeble also warned that the increased rate in over the 60s is also affecting nursing homes.

The council has reported that about a quarter of cases among those aged 60 and over are in nursing homes, where outbreaks are reported in at least 83 nursing homes – most of them are nursing homes.

“It’s challenging out there for the care sector,” Mr Keeble said.

“We have seen a marked increase in nursing homes over the last month. About 300 employees are infected, but if we think about the background spread, it should not be surprising.

“But the interesting thing is that about 25% of the cases in the over 60s are in nursing homes. When we see that the level of background is spreading in the community, it is not possible to keep it out of nursing homes, but that is where we hope the vaccines come into play, the boosters, the protection, but at the same time it’s challenging out there at the moment. “

People have been urged to get their booster jabs as fast as they can, and for those who have not received any vaccine at all, they should get their first doses.

In addition, guidance on regular hand washing, ventilating indoor spaces, wearing face masks and social distancing, where groups of people gather, remains important to help reduce the spread of infection.

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