SEVERAL areas in Herefordshire are still seeing the number of coronavirus cases rise, despite an overall drop across the county.

In the seven days to Wednesday, November 3, a UK Government heatmap showed the areas in Herefordshire with the highest number of new Covid cases.

Current coronavirus hotspots in the county, those with the highest infection rates, include: Hereford North West; Leominster North; Hereford South; Hereford East; and Hereford Central.

In these areas, the infection rates – the number of cases per 100,000 people – were all above 500 in the most recently-published figures.

The map breaks Herefordshire down into 23 sections known as middle super output areas.

These are used to try and improve the reporting of small area statistics, with an average population over around 7,200 people in England and Wales.

In total, Herefordshire reported 831 cases in the seven-day period, giving it a infection rate of 429.2 cases per 100,000 people.

That was 11 fewer cases than the week before, when the infection rate was 434.9.

Despite the slight drop across the county as a whole, cases are still rising in Shobdon, Luston and Bodenham; Leominster North; Bromyard and Bishop's Frome; Colwall, Cradley and Wellington Heath; Hereford East; Penyard, Llangarron and Goodrich; Hereford Central; Kington, Eardisley and Staunton; Hereford South; and redenhill, Weobley and Wellington.

Seven–day rates are expressed per 100,000 population and are calculated by dividing the seven day count by the area population and multiplying by 100,000. This helps when comparing rates across the county.

With a few exceptions, tighter visiting restrictions came into force at Herefordshire's hospitals last Wednesday.

It was to help "protect patients by reducing the risk of someone bringing Covid onto the wards", a spokesperson said.

Chief nursing officer Lucy Flanagan said: "This has been a difficult decision to make as we know the benefits visitors can make to the recovery of our patients, but with the increased spread of the virus in the community and cases on our wards, we've decided to temporarily suspend visiting on safety grounds with a few exceptions."

Exemptions were said to include compassionate grounds, stroke patients and out-patient areas.

There would also be no changes visiting restrictions on the children's ward, special care baby unit and in maternity.