CORONAVIRUS cases are rising in Herefordshire, latest figures suggest.

In the seven days to Wednesday, December 1, 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 Ross-on-Wye; Shobdon, Luston and Bodenham; and Lugwardine, Withington and Moreton-on-Lugg.

The infection rate – the number of cases per 100,000 people – for those areas were all above the UK average of 468.8.

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 of around 7,200 people in England and Wales.

In total, Herefordshire reported 713 cases in the seven days to December 1, giving it an infection rate of 368.3 cases per 100,000 people.

That was six more cases than the week before when the infection rate was 365.2.

Despite the slight rise, cases fell by 216 the week before.

In individual areas, cases rose by more than 10 in Ross-on-Wye; Kingstone and Kingsthorne; Shobdon, Luston and Bodenham; Penyard, Llangarron and Goodrich; and Hereford North East.

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.

It comes as Boris Johnson has told ministers that the Omicron variant of coronavirus appears to be “more transmissible” than Delta.

The Prime Minister updated his Cabinet on the latest situation on Tuesday morning, as a scientist warned cases of the Omicron variant in the UK are soon expected to be higher than in some African countries placed on the travel red list.

Giving an account of the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister said it was too early to draw conclusions on the characteristics of Omicron but early indications were that it is more transmissible than Delta.”


But the spokesman said there was no debate around the Cabinet table on whether to introduce Plan B of the Government’s plans to control the virus this winter.

Mr Johnson later said “now is the time” for people to get a booster jab.

“The booster programme is the fastest in Europe; I think we have done more boosters than any comparable country,” he told reporters.

“That doesn’t mean it couldn’t go faster.”

He added: “I would certainly say to people that now is the time to get it and, of course, from Monday, we will be contracting the interval so you go down to three months and that will lead to a big uptick in the programme as well.”

It comes as Professor Tim Spector said early data suggested cases of the coronavirus mutation are doubling every two days, putting it on course to overtake some of the 11 countries from where travellers to the UK are now required to quarantine to try to stymie community transmission.

New rules came into force in the early hours of Tuesday, requiring all travellers to take a pre-departure test before heading to England. They will not be able to travel if they test positive.

A total of 336 cases of Omicron had been confirmed across the UK as of Monday, including 261 in England, 71 in Scotland and four in Wales.