COVID hospitalisations in Dorset in the past week have been the highest seen so far this year.

According to latest figures from public health authority Public Health Dorset, a total of 113 people were being treated for the virus across the county on February 22.

On February 21, the number of people being treated in the county’s hospitals peaked at 122.

Read more: Covid guidance in BCP hospitals remains unchanged despite rules relaxing

A Public Health Dorset spokesperson said: “Confirmed case rates have continued to fall across the county this week, and other data suggests that the percentage of people testing positive in England is continuing to decrease.

“The ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey suggests in the week ending 19 February, 1 in 25 people in England had COVID-19. We have seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital beds in Dorset.”

The number of infections in the BCP Council area has fallen 23 per cent from 2,966 to 2,283 in the seven days to February 19 with the case rate falling from 747.1 to 575.1.

Read more: 'Stay home if you test positive' urge health chiefs despite restrictions ending

During the same period, infections in the Dorset Council area fell 27 per cent from 2,656 to 1,933.

Case rates for both Dorset Council areas were below that of the south west average of 580.8 but above the England average of 422.2.

The spokesperson added: “Although the legal requirement to self-isolate has now ended, the public health advice remains the same.

“We urge anyone who tests positive or has COVID symptoms to continue to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

“This will help to protect other people who may be more vulnerable to the virus. Read the full guidance for people with COVID-19.”