Dereham, Blofield and Belton are the latest coronavirus infection hotspots

Christmas shoppers in face masks out in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shoppers in face masks out in Norwich in the run up to Christmas - Credit: Denise Bradley

Almost half of all Norfolk and Waveney neighbourhoods have infection rates of more than 500 per 100,000 people, with rates rising in more than two-thirds of the county.

A week into the country's third national lockdown, Public Health England data shows rates of infection in Norfolk climbing at county and neighbourhood level, while only one local authority saw its rate drop in the week up to January 6.

Norfolk’s overall rate of infections was 491 per 100,000 people for the week ending January 6 – up from 417 the week before. Suffolk’s rate was slightly higher, at 516.3, rising from 383.1 the previous week.

Two neighbourhoods – Belton and Blofield – had an infection rate of more than 1,000 - the highest in the county.

The figures show Belton’s infection rate more than doubled in one week, jumping from 436.4 to 1100.6 in the days leading to January 6. Similarly, the rate in Blofield, Lingwood & Upton also more than doubled in the same week, jumping from 504.7 to 1076.6 per 100,000 people.

Other hotspots include Dereham North and Neatherd and part of Hellesdon, where rising rates of 986.8 and 948.5 per 100,000 people were recorded respectively.

The case rate data shows rates rising in 86 of 125 neighbourhoods in Norfolk and Waveney – 69pc of the total.

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In all, 55 neighbourhoods – 44pc - returned rates of more than 500 per 100,000 people in the week ending January 6.

But the data also shows rates were rising in just under half of the 75 neighbourhoods with an infection rate of less than 500 per 100,000.

In some of those areas, like Beccles, Thurlton, Haddiscoe & Geldeston and Beeston Regis, Saxthorpe & Aldborough infection rates had more than doubled in a week.

The biggest rise in cases came in the Bawdeswell, Swanton Morley & North Elmham area, where cases jumped from 18 to 68 in the week ending January 6 – a rise of 278pc.

By January 6, the local authority with the highest rate of infections was Great Yarmouth, where a rate of 592.9 was recorded – up 25pc from the week before.

Norwich, Broadland and Breckland all saw rising rates of above 500 per 100,000. Norwich’s rate rose by 21pc to 517.9, while Broadland and Breckland’s rates both rose by 27pc to 563.5 and 511.5 per 100,000 respectively.

The lowest rate was found in North Norfolk, which saw a rate of 384.4, but that had risen 13pc since the week before.

The only local authority to see a drop in case rate was South Norfolk, where a 6pc decrease meant a rate of 414.5 was returned for the area.

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