Latest data released by Public Health England has indicated that there has been a huge fall in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Herefordshire.
Data for the seven day period ending 13th January shows that a total of 1,518 new cases were recorded in the county. This is a fall of 43.5% on the previous seven day period when 2,689 new cases were recorded. This means that Herefordshire’s COVID-19 infection rate has fallen to 784 cases per 100,000 population, a fall from a record high of nearly 1,400 cases per 100,000 population the week before.
The main areas still recording ‘high’ levels of infection are Hereford city, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye. The good news is that infection rates are falling even in these areas.
Overall in the United Kingdom, a total of 673,987 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the past seven days. This is a 38.9% on the previous seven days. Hospitalisations are also beginning to fall, indicating that a reduction of cases is having a positive impact and that hopefully in the coming weeks, the intense pressure on the NHS should start to ease.
This is good news but members of the public are advised to remain vigilant, with Wye Valley NHS Trust issuing the following update just last week.
Wye Valley NHS Trust has explained the current visiting restrictions and exceptions that are in place at hospitals in Herefordshire.
It comes as a small number of wards at hospitals in the county, including Hereford County Hospital, have had to be closed to new admissions due to outbreaks of COVID-19 within the hospital. These outbreaks and increases in cases tie in with Herefordshire seeing a record number of new cases of the virus at the start of this year.
A statement from Wye Valley NHS Trust says:
Visiting at Wye Valley NHS Trust’s hospitals/wards in Herefordshire, including Hereford County Hospital, Ross, Leominster and Bromyard Community Hospitals remains suspended.
There are some areas with exceptions in place, including on compassionate grounds, which must be agreed with the nurse in charge, and these are listed on the Trust’s website page – https://www.wyevalley.nhs.uk/about-us/our-performance/infection-prevention/coronavirus-public-health-england-advice/visiting-during-covid-19.aspx
The Trust is seeing an increase in hospital inpatient COVID-19 confirmed cases, which reflects the increase of cases in the community, and a small number of its wards are currently closed to admissions due to inpatient cases of COVID-19.
These patients are being cared for in isolation and Covid-19 testing for all inpatients on these ward has been carried out. The Trust has also undertaken ward staff testing.
Patient safety is paramount and the Trust has stringent infection prevention and control measures in place to help minimise the transmission of this virus within its hospitals. The Trust has tried and tested plans in place and our hospital is set up to care for coronavirus patients.
All inpatients are tested for Covid-19 on admission to hospital and cared for in isolation if their test is positive. This testing is also undertaken during the hospital stay and when patients need to be transferred to care homes or a community hospital.
Enhanced cleaning and decontamination regimes are in place across the Trust and staff are required to wear personal protective equipment when caring for patients and follow hand hygiene practices, in line with The UK Health Security Agency guidance, to provide the safest possible care to patients.
We would like to thank local residents for following the Governments’ advice and guidance. It is important that we continue to do this, in particular staying at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19 in line with the current Government testing guidelines.
We would also like to remind people that the best way to prevent becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 is to ensure you take up the offer for a first, second or booster vaccination if you are eligible.