Latest data released by Public Health England has shown that COVID-19 infection rates are on the rise in Herefordshire, with 267 new cases of the virus recorded in the county yesterday (27th December).

Data shows that in the seven day period ending the 22nd December that a total of 986 cases were recorded in Herefordshire. This is an increase of 29.7% on the previous seven day period and left the county with a COVID-19 infection rate of 509.3 cases per 100,000 population.

The Lugwardine, Withington & Moreton on Lugg is currently recording the highest infection rate in Herefordshire, with the infection rate for the seven day period ending 22nd December being 855.7 cases per 100,000 population.

Despite this increase in cases, which is also the case across the rest of the United Kingdom, due to the spread of the Omicron variant, which is now believed to be the dominant variant in most areas, including in Herefordshire, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that no further restrictions would be put into place in England before New Year’s Day. This will be a welcome relief for many, particularly those in the hospitality sector, with many concerned that England would follow Wales and Scotland by adding further restrictions.

The real positive news in Herefordshire is that COVID-19 hospital numbers are falling. Data shows that on 21st December, a total of 15 patients were confirmed as having COVID-19 at Wye Valley NHS Trust. This is down from the previous week (14th December) when a total of 21 patients were recorded as having COVID-19 at hospital in Herefordshire.