COVID cases are on the rise in Herefordshire after schools have returned.

Covid-19 vaccine invites will be handed out to 12-15 year olds across the UK as of next week.

Latest complete figures show on September 6, the seven day average was 93.1 cases and there were 97 cases in Herefordshire on September 9.

In the previous five days to September 13 there were 38 cases, a complete result is determined after seven days.

Director of public health for Herefordshire Rebecca Howell-Jones, is hopeful testing will hinder cases in schools, she said: "We are expecting an increase in identified cases as schools return and students undertake regular lateral flow device testing again.

"We have seen a large increase in lateral flow device testing in the county – up by an average of 1000 tests per day compared with the summer months.

"This is good news as it helps identify people who are asymptomatic cases, who are then required to self-isolate.

"It is really difficult to predict the size or duration of this increase in cases, as it depends on so many factors."

Hereford Times: Rebecca Howell-Jones, Director of Public Health for Herefordshire Rebecca Howell-Jones, Director of Public Health for Herefordshire

Rebecca Howell-Jones anticipates a spike in Herefordshire over the winter season.

"Residents should continue to take precautions this coming winter. We will likely be going into winter with high levels of Covid cases, and we will expect to see flu on top of this.

"There are many things we can do to protect ourselves, loved ones and wider community.

"The most important step anyone can take is to take up Covid vaccine, and for those who are eligible get your flu vaccine and Covid booster when invited.

"Testing plays an important role to be able to identify cases, self-isolate and importantly identify contacts who can then take a test – breaking the chain of transmission," she said.

Plans for Autumn and Winter have been unveiled, as Boris Johnson warning the disease "remains a risk".

Under Plan A of the autumn and winter plan, announced by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, ministers will encourage the unvaccinated to be jabbed, offer vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds and begin a booster jab programme for millions.

Under Plan B - which ministers say would only be enacted if further measures are needed to protect the NHS the public would be urged to act more cautiously, mandatory vaccine passports could be used for mass events and other settings and face coverings could be legally mandated in some places.