Over one third of all coronavirus cases in Suffolk recorded in the last fortnight

Ipswich recorded the sixth lowest coronavirus rate in the UK up to October 2 (stock picture) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

More than one third of all coronavirus cases in Suffolk were recorded in the two weeks over Christmas - Credit: Archant

More than one third of Suffolk's total confirmed coronavirus cases were recorded in the last two weeks, government data has shown.

A total of 15,643 people have tested positive for the virus in the county as of January 2 – with 5,321 people testing positive from December 20 to January 2, making up 34% of all cases recorded in Suffolk by that point.

The highest ever number of people testing positive came on December 29, when 749 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, however this could be due to a lag in test results on Christmas day.

While the figures show cases are significantly on the rise, testing has vastly increased in recent months when compared to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Mobile testing has increased countywide, while a walk-in test centre has also opened at Portman Road, Ipswich, alongside the permanent test centre at Copdock.

In terms of deaths, 93 people died in the county in the two weeks to January 2 after testing positive for the virus.

Tragically, of all those days, Christmas Day saw the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, with 11 people losing their lives. Overall, 759 people have died in Suffolk after contracting the virus as of January 2. 

Last week, Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council and chair of Suffolk’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said the steps taken by the public will be "critical" in the county's fight against the virus.

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Meanwhile, Ipswich and Colchester hospitals' chief Nick Hulme confirmed there are more than 320 patients with coronavirus at both sites – with intensive care units "at capacity".

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, said: “Suffolk is seeing a similar, sharp increase in positive cases in line with the regional picture, which is making more people ill and putting our hospitals under even more pressure.

“The new variant of the virus spreads more easily, we must all limit contact with others wherever possible. Even though you may not have any symptoms, you may be giving Covid-19 to someone else without realising it.

“We all need to maintain social distancing, to continue washing our hands regularly, wearing a mask when appropriate and strictly following the government’s guidance.”

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