THE BCP and Dorset council areas have two of the highest Covid infection rates in the whole of England, according to the latest government figures.

Both unitary authority regions have seven-day case rates per 100,000 people among the 10 highest in the country.

The government's coronavirus data dashboard says the BCP Counil area recorded 2,354 new Covid cases in the seven days to November 20, the latest available figure, which equated to an infection rate of 593 cases per 100,000 people.

Across England's 30 upper tier local authority areas, only Rutland (662.1), Devon (655.7), Torbay (626.2), Surrey (614.2) and West Sussex (600.7) had higher rates.

Dorset Council's latest seven-day infection rate, 587.4 cases per 100,000, with 2,231 infections recorded, is the eighth highest nationally.

Over the past week, the seven-day BCP Council area recorded Covid case rates have been at their highest level since January of this year.

The Dorset Council area has seen significantly higher infection numbers in recent weeks than compared to last winter.

However, the number of patients in hospital with coronavirus is much lower than the start of the year.

Across all of Dorset's NHS hospitals, there were 95 patients with Covid, as of Tuesday, November 23.

Patients being admitted to hospital with coronavirus has continued to gradually increase throughout this month.

Current hospital Covid admission levels are lower than they were at this stage of last year, although the one-month November 2020 lockdown briefly saw hospital numbers fall in December 2020 before sharp increases from around Christmas.

Approximately 73 per cent of BCP Council residents and 82 per cent of Dorset Council residents aged 12 and over have received at least two doses of a Covid vaccine.