THE number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus in Dorset is 'rapidly increasing', latest figures show. 

Despite the Government easing all lockdown restrictions this week - making mask wearing and social distancing optional - hospitalisations have shot-up at a rapid rate across the county. 

Latest figures from NHS England show that hospitalisations acoss Dorset have risen by 125 per cent in the last week.

There were 45 people admitted to hospitals in the county in the seven days up to July 20 - up from 20 in the previous week. 

In Bournemouth and Poole, 38 people were admitted to University Hospitals Dorset Trust between July 14 and July 20.

As part of its weekly update, Public Dorset said: "We have seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases across the county over the past week, particularly in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area where the case rate has more than doubled in a week to 534.5 per 100,000.

"Case rates are highest amongst younger people, but we are seeing cases increase across all age groups."  

A further six people were also admitted to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester in the same week.

Meanwhile, one patients was admitted to the Dorset Healthcare Trust during the same one-week period.

As of July 20, there were 23 people occupying a hospital bed with the virus in University Hospitals Dorset - up from 13 in the previous week.

Three patients were at University Hospitals Dorset Trust and there was one patient with Covid at the Dorset County Hospital.

Dorset Echo:

Across England, 3,894 people were occupying a hospital bed with coronavirus and 223 in the south west.

Of people needing mechanical ventilation, four patients at the University Hospitals Dorset Trust required a ventilator, three people required a ventilator at Dorset County Hospital and no patients at the Dorset Healthcare Trust needed mechanical ventilation. 

Across England, 544 patients needed a ventilator and 28 people in the south west with coronavirus required a ventilator.

The Daily Echo have contacted Public Health Dorset for a comment regarding hospitalisations - more follows.