THERE has been a big spike in the number of coronavirus cases being reported in Herefordshire.

Government data shows there are now a record number of people testing positive for Covid in Herefordshire.

In the seven days to December 29, 2,019 people tested positive in the county.

That gave the county an infection rate of 1042.8 cases per 100,000 people – the highest ever.

The data shows cases doubled in the week to December 29, with just 998 reported the week before.

The new record infection rate in Herefordshire is almost double the previous high of 668.3 cases per 100,000 on September 27.


While data up to December 29 is said to be "complete", 939 cases were reported the four days after.

But due to delays in PCR tests being processed by laboratories, data is not said to be "complete" for five days.

While the Government's coronavirus dashboard does show more people are testing when compared to some times during the pandemic, the percentage of tests coming back positive is rising.

Some 8,145 people in Herefordshire took a PCR test in the week to December 26, the most up-to-date data available. The dashboard shows 16.5 per cent of all tests returned a positive result.

For the seven days to September 27, 11,027 people took a PCR test but only 11.9 per cent were positive.

When the UK Government was implementing tiered coronavirus restrictions at the end of 2020, the positivity rate was one factor it looked at.

At the time, areas with a positivity rate of more than10 per cent could have stricter rules introduced.


But despite the big spike in cases, the number of people in hospital remains at one of the lowest levels since the summer.

On December 21, the number of Covid patients at the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, fell to a three-month low of 15.

And that number fell further to seven on Christmas Eve – the lowest since mid-August.

But since Christmas Eve, that number has risen to 15 as of Tuesday (December 28), suggesting a further rise could be on the way.

Minister for vaccines and public health Maggie Throup said Plan B, which includes measures such as face coverings in shops, “is working”.

Asked if the Government was listening to health professionals and prepared to bring in more restrictions, she told Sky News: “As the Prime Minister said yesterday, we have got Plan B, which is people working from home, the Covid pass, face coverings and obviously the vaccine programme, which is so, so important.”

She added: “Plan B is working, as you can see from the number of hospitalisations, it’s far, far fewer than this time last year and that’s so important as well, that the vaccines are working, the measures for people to work from home are working.

“The Prime Minister said that Plan B is working and there’ll be a Cabinet meeting today, and I don’t see any reason why we need to change. It’s important we do follow the data.”