THERE has been a fall in the number of people testing positive for Covid in Herefordshire, with only one area seeing a rise in cases.

In the seven days to Thursday, February 10, a UK Government heatmap showed the areas in Herefordshire with the highest number of new Covid cases.

Cases fell in all but six of Herefordshire's 23 areas compared with data from February 3.

Current coronavirus hotspots in the county, those with the highest infection rates, include:

  • Lugwardine, Withington and Moreton-on-Lugg
  • Colwall, Cradley and Wellington Heath
  • Ross-on-Wye
  • Hereford South West: areas such as Hunderton and Newton Farm
  • Ledbury

The infection rate – the number of cases per 100,000 people – for those areas were all above the UK average of 642.2.

Only four of the 23 areas in Herefordshire were below that.

The only area which saw a rise in cases over the seven days was 

Some 57 cases were reported in Colwall, Cradley and Wellington Heath, near Ledbury, in the seven-day period, which was nine more than the week before.

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 1,456 cases in the seven days to February 10, giving it an infection rate of 752.0 cases per 100,000 people.

That was 690 fewer cases than the week before when the infection rate was 1,108.4. A fortnight ago it was 1,290.2.

It comes as free Covid testing could reportedly be scrapped as early as next week as part of the government’s "living with Covid" strategy.

PCR and lateral flow tests will no longer be free amid a government announcement planned for next week, LBC reports.

It means people may need to pay for Covid testing in the near future.

In response to the claims, a government spokesperson said: “We’ve previously set out that we’ll keep the provision of free testing under review as the government’s response to Covid-19 changes.

“No decisions have been made on the provision of free testing. Everyone can continue to get free tests and we are continuing to encourage people to use rapid tests when they need them.

“Testing continues to play an important role in helping people live their day to day lives, keep businesses running and keep young people in school.”

It is unclear exactly how much it will cost although reports last month suggested a box of seven will cost £30.

The estimate came amid reports free universal lateral flow tests would be scrapped by the government in June