THE number of hospital patients being treated for Covid in Dorset has risen by almost 50 per cent, according to latest data.

Figures released by local public health authority Public Health Dorset show the number of patients in hospital has increased from 61 to 90.

Meanwhile, the number of cases continues to rise with infections highest among school aged children.

Public Health Dorset said: “Infection rates have continued to rise gradually over the past week. Please see the note below about national changes to cases data. In both council areas, cases remain lowest in over 65s and highest amongst school aged children.

“The number of people in hospital in Dorset with COVID-19 has risen this week from 61 to 90. We will continue to monitor this trend, but we are seeing fewer people needing the most intensive treatment and we also know that some people in hospital with COVID-19 may be there primarily for another condition.”

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Data for the seven days to January 29, show there were 4,503 cases across the BCP Council area with a case rate of 1,134.3 per 100,000 people.

During the same period, there were 3,692 infections in Dorset at a rate of 972.1.

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Previously, there were 3,521 confirmed cases in BCP and 3,015 in Dorset. Giving rates of 886.9 and 793.9 respectively.

In the seven days to January 29, the case rate in BCP was below the south west average of 1,167.8 but above that in England at 1,069.9 with Dorset’s rate below both averages.