THE impact of Omicron is being seen across Dorset as cases continue to rise - but hospitalisations remain steady, the local public health authority has said.

In an update on December 24, Public Health Dorset said the sharp rise in case rates nationally was now being replicated the county.

A spokesperson for Public Health Dorset said: “Case rates have risen sharply in England over the past week and we are now starting to see this in our local data as cases have risen in both council areas this week. 

“Locally we have had high case rates for a number of weeks driven by the Delta variant, but we know that Omicron is more transmissible and we are seeing the impact of this in our local situation.

“Hospital admissions have remained relatively stable, but we know that there is a time lag between cases rising and the impact on hospitalisations, so we will continue to monitor the trends over the coming days and weeks.”

Read more: Covid jabs taking place in Blandford between Christmas and New Year

Latest data for the seven days to December 18 shows the case rate per 100,000 people across the BCP Council area was 800.3 with 3,177 cases.

During the same period, the rate in Dorset was 594.8 with 2,259 infections recorded.

The previous week, the rate was 628.0 and 550.8 in BCP and Dorset respectively with 2,493 and 2,092 cases in each area.

Read more: Well done Dorset: 75,000 Covid booster jabs given out in ONE week

However, hospitalisations have fallen from 83 to 75.  

The Public Health Dorset spokesperson urged anyone who hasn’t had their first or second dose to take up the offer.

People are also advised to test regularly, particularly before gatherings or meeting others, meeting outdoors or opening doors and windows and wearing a face covering indoors or in crowded spaces.

Anyone with Covid symptoms should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.