CIVIC leaders in Ross-on-Wye say people should continue to take care and stick to social distancing rules as the rate of coronavirus infection in Herefordshire appears to be increasing.

The joint statement by local GP and clinical director Simon Lennane and mayor Daniel Lister says health services are aware of clusters of Covid-19 in Ross and other parts of the county.

They also reference data from Public Health England which was published in The Guardian on Friday showing the county had 41.6 positive coronavirus tests per 100,000 people over the last 10 days.

The statement warns that this data is likely to significantly under-represent new cases of Covid-19 as there is a lack of access to testing for everyone.

“The latest coronavirus (Covid-19) testing figures from Public Health England are showing an increase in positive tests in Herefordshire,” the statement says.

“The rate at which new cases are being identified is much higher here than in other parts of the country.

“This suggests that the epidemic here has not yet reached a peak.”

“For our county of around 192,000 people, this represents an average of 8 people a day testing positive at present.

“Without access to testing for everyone, this is likely to significantly under-represent new cases of Covid-19.

“Locally health services are aware of clusters of Covid-19 in Ross-on-Wye as well as other places in the county.

“We feel it is important that our community is aware that there are a growing number of cases in Ross, and the rate of infection in Herefordshire seems to be increasing.

“Being informed allows us to continue to take great care to protect ourselves and people around us.

“We strongly encourage people to reduce their own and others’ potential exposure to the virus wherever possible.”

Health professionals in Ross are also encouraging local people to complete a coronavirus survey twice a week for themselves, and to encourage others to do so.

The Ross-on-Wye coronavirus survey also gives information about the level of possible symptoms in the community.

The more replies the survery gets, the more valuable it becomes, especially if people regularly complete it with or without symptoms.

The survey can be accessed by clicking here or visiting . And the responses are available for all to see.