Covid cases continue to fall - but Ipswich is above national average

Bury St Edmunds town centre during the third UK lockdown Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Covid cases are falling across Suffolk, but Ipswich remains above the national average - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

All but one area of Suffolk is below the national average for Covid infection rates, with Mid Suffolk and Babergh amongst the lowest in the country.

According to the latest Public Health England figures, only six (2%) of the 315 local authority areas in England have seen a rise in case rates.

The data is for the seven days to January 31 and is based on tests carried out in laboratories and in the wider community.

The latest average figure for England, which covers the same week, stands at 257.27 cases per 100,000 - down on the seven days to January 24 (360.08).

In Suffolk, Mid Suffolk, Babergh, East Suffolk and West Suffolk all saw Covid cases fall over those two seven-day periods.

The rates are as follows for the seven days to January 31: Mid Suffolk (122.2), Babergh (126), East Suffolk (148.3) and West Suffolk (192.7).

And while Ipswich also saw a decline - the rate is now 268.8 - it remains above the national average.

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Over the border in Essex, Braintree, Colchester and Tendring continue to record infection rates higher than the England average - but all significantly lower than the seven days to January 24.

Maldon and Uttlesford continue to have rates below the national average.

Two new Covid-19 rapid testing centre targeting people who unwittingly have the virus and do not show symptoms are to open in Suffolk.

Covid-19 rapid testing centres targeting people who unwittingly have the virus are to open in Haverhill and Lowestoft

Covid-19 rapid testing centres targeting people who unwittingly have the virus are to open in Haverhill and Lowestoft. Testing of swabs is quick and the person tested will receive the results within an hour - Credit: Suffolk Resilience Forum

They will begin operating in Haverhill and Lowestoft and use lateral flow testing to identify people who may have coronavirus but who are asymptomatic – crucial in stopping the spread of the virus as the UK vaccination programme is rolled out.

The centres are for anyone living or working in the towns and surrounding areas who are unable to work from home. Employers are also being urged to encourage their staff to book regular for testing.

The Lowestoft centre is at Kirkley & Pakefield FC clubhouse in Walmer Road and opens tomorrow, February 5.

The Haverhill facility will be in the Arts Centre in the High Street and opens from Monday, February 8.

Appointments for tests can be made through registering on the booking website or calling 0333 772 6144