COVID infections have started to rise again in Dorset following a significant fall earlier this month, the public health authority has said.

Public Health Dorset said case rates are highest amongst children across both council areas, however, the case rates for Dorset and BCP councils remain below the national and regional average.

A Public Health Dorset spokesperson said: “The significant fall in case rates that we have seen over the past few weeks has now tailed off and infection rates have started to rise again since last week's update.

"However, case rates for Dorset Council and BCP Council remain below the national and regional averages. Case rates are highest amongst children across both council areas.”

Currently 61 patients are being treated for Covid in hospitals across the county compared to 68 the previous week. 

Latest data shows 3,521 people tested positive for the virus across the BCP Council area in the seven days to January 22, compared to 3,049 previously with the rate per 100,000 people rising from 768.0 to 886.9.

During the same period, cases increase from 2,524 to 3,015 in the Dorset Council area with the rate growing from 664.6 to 793.9.

The case rates for the south west and England are 947.7 and 999.9 respectively.

The spokesperson added: “Plan B measures have come to an end this week but it is important to remember that we are still living with the virus - case rates are high locally so there is still a risk you could catch COVID-19. Consider the risks and follow public health advice to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy. Testing, isolation, ventilation and hygiene measures are all key ways you can help stop the spread.”