MORE than 20 people are still in hospital in Herefordshire with coronavirus, latest NHS figures show.

NHS England data showed 23 people were being cared for in hospital by the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, on Tuesday (October 19).

That was the same number as on the same day the previous week (October 12).

It was as Arrow ward at Hereford County Hospital shut its doors to visitors due to patients testing positive for coronavirus.

A spokesperson said Arrow Ward, a respiratory and cardiac medicine ward, was temporarily closed to visitors due to a small number of cases, with their close contacts traced.

"These patients are being cared for in isolation and Covid-19 testing for all inpatients on this ward has been carried out," they said.

"The trust has also undertaken ward staff and visitor contact tracing.

"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."

The latest figures also showed that 15 new Covid patients were admitted to hospital in Herefordshire in the week to Sunday, October 17.

The week before, 28 patients were admitted.

There were no beds occupied by people who tested positive for Covid-19 on May 18 – the day after the second easing of lockdown in England.

From February 26 until August 30, there were not more than 16 Covid patients at the Wye Valley NHS on any one day.

But since the end of August, the number of patients has been consistently above 12, apart from on September 25 and 26.

The number of patients in mechanical ventilation beds, those used for the most seriously ill, had fallen to none between on October 12.

But since October 16, one bed has been occupied.

That was the same number as the week before.