THE number of patients with Covid being treated at hospitals in Herefordshire has risen, latest figures show.

With visiting still suspended, initially due to rising Covid cases on wards and in the community, according to the Wye Valley NHS Trust, the latest number of patients with the virus has been revealed.

NHS England data showed 27 patients were being cared for in hospital by the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, on Tuesday (December 7).

That was six more than the same day the previous week (November 30).

During the week to November 30, the number of patients peaked at 29 on December 6. That was the highest number since November 11 when there were also 29.


During the third wave, the number of patients peaked at 35 on November 1 but England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty suggested in a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday that the number of Covid patients in hospital could rise further in three weeks.

The latest figures also showed that 27 new Covid patients were admitted to hospital in Herefordshire in the week to Sunday, December 5.

The week before, that number was 10, and a fortnight before it was 11.

The figure, published on the Government website, showed there were two patients in mechanical ventilation beds on Tuesday, which are used for the most seriously ill.

That was up from none the week before.

At the November 4 Wye Valley NHS Trust board meeting, managing director Glen Burley said that the trust was "under significant pressure from Covid".

There were 39 Covid patients at the time, and while that number has dropped to 21 since, it was "higher than in the first wave".

He said the majority of inpatients with Covid had either had no vaccine or just their first dose.

Speaking at Wednesday's Downing Street press conference where Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England was moving to Plan B in response to the Omicron Covid variant, England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty also gave an update.

He said he wanted to point out "two realities" about Covid patients being admitted to hospital.


"At the moment, the spread is in younger people who you would not expect to go into hospital," he said.

"It's when it starts moving up the ages and into vulnerable groups that you'll start to see that.

"There will be a lag as it moves to the more vulnerable groups.

"Then, we know from previous waves and this isn't particularly that surprising, that there is a delay between people becoming infected with Covid and ending up with symptoms and then with hospitalisation.

"There is usually about a two-week delay. We would therefore not expect the case rates in hospital for probably two to three weeks."

He said the new measures, which include masks in theatres and cinemas and Covid passports for clubs and large gatherings, would slow the spread of the Omicron variant to try and keep cases down.

From Friday, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, including cinemas, theatres and places of worship, but not gyms, bars or restaurants.

From Monday, those who can work from home are advised to do so. But the Prime Minister said Christmas parties and school nativity plays should still go ahead.

From Wednesday the NHS Covid Pass, on the NHS app, will become mandatory for entry into clubs and other large gatherings – classed as indoor events with 500 or more people, unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000, and any event with a crowd of more than 10,000.

For those without the app proof of a negative test through a text message or email from the NHS would be sufficient.

Venues which fail to comply with the regulations could face fines of up to £10,000.