CORONAVIRUS cases are continuing to rise in Herefordshire, latest figures show, with almost 3,000 people testing positive in a week.

In the seven days to Wednesday, January 5, a UK Government heatmap showed the areas in Herefordshire with the highest number of new Covid cases.

Cases rose in all but two of Herefordshire's 23 areas compared with data from December 29.

Current coronavirus hotspots in the county, those with the highest infection rates, include Hereford Central, including the city centre, parts of the College Estate and Portfields; Hereford North West, which includes Holmer Road, Yazor Road and Three Elms Road; and Hereford North East, which covers Aylestone Hill, Munstone and Shelwick.

The infection rate – the number of cases per 100,000 people – for those areas were all above 1,700.

But only Hereford Central's infection rate was higher than the UK average of 1,919.4.

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 2,760 cases in the seven days to January 5, giving it an infection rate of 1425.5 cases per 100,000 people.

That was 703 more cases than the week before when the infection rate was 1,062.4. A fortnight ago it was 516.0.

The Government website shows that cases in Herefordshire have risen by 34.2 per cent over the last week, and the infection rate was now at its highest level ever.


In individual areas, the number of new cases rose by 50 or more in: Bromyard and Bishop's Frome, Hereford Central, Ledbury and Hereford North West.

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.

Meanwhile, a pack of Chinese-made Covid tests was held up in the Commons as Labour pressed ministers to fix the “shortage” of supplies by buying British.

Shadow business minister Bill Esterson waved the box of lateral flow devices as he spoke at the despatch box, telling MPs: “Buying British is a great way for the Government to boost productivity.

“So why are they buying so many Covid tests from China, many of which only have temporary MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) approval and are now banned in the United States?

“In contrast, the MHRA is delaying approval for British test manufacturers who have approval and are able to sell around the world but not here. Surely the minister isn’t going to tell us that the MHRA has a different set of standards to all other countries?

“What we need to know is when is the Secretary of State going to get behind British manufacturers who want to play their part in fixing the shortage of Covid tests?”


Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK has “led the world” in life sciences and manufacturing, but failed to answer the questions put to him.

MPs also asked ministers to guarantee support for nightclubs and other businesses struggling due to Covid restrictions.

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton Kemptown) said: “My nightclub in Brighton, Revenge – not mine personally, but I do like to frequent it – the problem is 60% of its patronage has gone down with the latest variant.

“It is really struggling but it has been told it is not eligible for the latest round of grants because it has received previous grants and the recovery grant.

“This is a real problem for our night-time economy and for many businesses. Can the minister confirm to me that any night-time economy or hospitality sector is eligible for the latest round of grants that the minister has released?”

Business minister Paul Scully said nightclubs are eligible for the £100 million discretionary grants via councils.