COVID-19 cases across Dorset stand at their highest ever level following the Christmas and New Year period, and are continuing to increase.
According to the latest figures released on January 7, there were 4,521 cases in the Dorset Council area, a sharp increase from 2,974 the previous week, and 5,584 in the Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (BCP) area, up from 4,319.
This means the case rate per 100,000 people was 1,190.1 in the Dorset Council area, compared to 783.1 on December 31, and 1,406.6 in the BCP area, compared to 1,087.9.
The national average case rate was 1,597 per 100,000 people as of January 4.
Hospitalisations have also increased, with the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across Dorset rising from 55 last week to 74 as of January 7.
A spokesperson for Public Health Dorset said: “Case rates have continued to rise quickly over the past week across Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, and remain higher than at any other point during the pandemic. Infection rates are very high across the country.
“In Dorset we have started to see hospitalisations related to COVID-19 rise, up to 74 from 55 in a week. Our hospitals and other critical services are also under increasing pressure due to staff absences related to COVID-19.
“The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has remained relatively stable and continue to be much lower than during previous waves of the pandemic.
“Testing remains key to stopping the spread and protecting others. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you must get a PCR test and self-isolate whilst waiting for the result.
“Lateral flow tests should be used by anyone without symptoms, particularly before meeting others – if you get a positive test, you must log the result and follow self-isolation guidance. Most people no longer need to get a PCR test to confirm a positive lateral flow test.
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness caused by COVID-19.
“As well as people getting boosted, it’s been great to see people in Dorset coming forward for their first and second doses in recent weeks, and we’d urge anyone who hasn’t yet had their jabs to come forward. There are plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated in Dorset.”
Coronavirus cases in the Lyme Regis area
COVID-19 cases in the Lyme Regis area are also currently at their highest level since the pandemic began.
In the seven-day period up until January 2, there were 73 recorded cases of COVID-19 in the Lyme Regis, Charmouth & Marshwood Vale area, an increase of 32 on the previous week.
This means the case rate per 100,000 people was 1,006.3 – below the Dorset Council area figure of 1,190.1 and national average of 1,597.
Case numbers have also increased in every area surrounding Lyme Regis.
Figures for neighbouring areas as of January 2 were as follows: Uplyme, Kilmington & Colyton – 86 (increase of 48); Seaton – 65 (increase of 20); Axminster – 104 (increase of 32); Burton Bradstock & Chideock – 72 (increase of 14); Bridport South & West Bay – 47 (increase of 25); Bridport North – 56 (increase of 18); Beaminster, Maiden Newton & Halstock – 78 (increase of 38).
You can find out more details on COVID case numbers in your local area at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/