One year on, figures reveal how Dorset has been affected by coronavirus


A YEAR after the first national lockdown was called, figures on how Dorset has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic have revealed there have been 36,193 positive tests across the county and 1,364 COVID-related deaths. 

Figures for Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole show there has been 365 coronavirus-related incidents and outbreaks in the county’s schools and educational settings, 588 incidents and outbreaks in care homes and 40 outbreaks in all other care settings – with all three major hospitals affected.

The sobering figures will be presented to today’s county-wide health and wellbeing board by Public Health director Sam Crowe.

In his report, Mr Crowe says: “Despite these huge impacts on our communities, it is widely recognised that case numbers in Dorset have, overall, been lower than the national average.

“The first wave, in particular saw case numbers remaining lower, which may have been due to lower social mixing in urban centres and less travel across communities than elsewhere in the country. The second wave saw case numbers rising much higher.

“We must aim for a sustainable exit from the pandemic, moving to a situation where we may have to live with COVID-19 as an endemic seasonal infection, but not seeing the sort of epidemic transmission that has characterised the past two waves of infection.”

He said that a closer examination of the figures for Dorset show quite clearly that when transmission rates are high it tends to be in the county’s most deprived area.

Councillors will be told that there are other factors to consider for Dorset, including outbreaks linked with educational settings; having a significant older, frailer population than the national average; multi-generational households and a larger number of low-paid workers who socialise and often share transport and accommodation.

An added and more recent factor has been that older people who have been vaccinated no longer sticking to the guidelines.

Local research has indicated that, despite the assumption that many visitors were coming to Dorset from London, when the county was in a lower tier than the capital, many of the actually visitors travelled less far – many from in and around Southampton, which at the time had a higher infection rate.

Mr Crowe said that continuing to find and trace local outbreaks and tackling them quickly will be among the keys to successful release from lockdown measures, along with persuading people to continue to isolate when needed, and to maintain social distancing and other measures, even when the majority of the population have been vaccinated.

You can find the latest coronavirus figures for Dorset and the Lyme Regis area here and for more details on the current coronavirus advice and regulations, visit

By Local Democracy Reporter Trevor Bevins

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