A spike in COVID-19 cases in the Ledbury area is fuelling a rise in Herefordshire’s infection rate, with over 40 cases of COVID-19 recorded in the Ledbury and Fownhope, Marcle and Tarrington area in the seven days ending 8th June.

Herefordshire’s infection rate in the seven days ending 8th June was 36.8 cases per 100,000 population, with 71 new cases of COVID-19 recorded. This is up from the previous week when Herefordshire’s COVID-19 infection rate was 9.3 cases per 100,000 population, with just 18 cases recorded in the seven day period ending 1st June.

The vast majority of the rise in new cases in Herefordshire is in the Ledbury and Fownhope areas, with 43 of Herefordshire’s total of 71 new cases recoded in this area in the recent seven day period ending 8th June. The COVID-19 infection rate in Fownhope itself has risen to 320.7 cases per 100,000 population, with Ledbury recording an infection rate of 208.9 cases per 100,000 population. Cases have also been recorded in the Kington, Golden Valley and Ross-on-Wye areas, but Hereford itself remains almost ‘COVID Free’ with just a small handful of cases recorded in the city.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today expected to announce a delay to the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions on 21st June, with a four week delay expected, pushing back the potential total release of restrictions to 19th July.

Despite many people urging the government to go ahead with the relaxation of restrictions, Boris Johnson and his cabinet have come under increasing pressure from a large number of scientists, including members of SAGE, to delay the relaxation of restrictions, due to significant concerns over the spread of the Delta variant. The Delta variant is now responsible for over 90% of cases in the United Kingdom and is reportedly up to 60% more transmissible and scientists say that this variant could be slightly more resistant to vaccines, particularly in those that have only currently received one dose.

The Prime Minister will make his decision this morning, before addressing the nation early this evening.