PUBLIC Health Dorset has confirmed a "technical issue" led to incorrect coronavirus case data being published on the authority's website which suggested the latest weekly coronavirus case rate for the BCP Council area was higher than the national average.

In an update issued on Thursday, October 29, Public Health Dorset initially said the rate for the seven-day period of October 18 and October 24 for BCP Council area was 195.6 cases per 100,000 of the population with England having a rate of 160.3.

However, on the morning of Friday, October 30, the health authority said the figure for England was incorrect and should have been 225.9 - higher than the BCP Council rate.

The original figure given for the south west of 189.9 was correct.

A spokeswoman for Public Health Dorset said: "There was a technical issue when retrieving the data for our report and Q&A presentation (on Thursday evening) which meant the England seven-day case rate was lower than it should have been.

"The correct England case rate for the time period is 225.9. The other rates published are correct."

BCP Council's figure was up from 121.5 for the period of October 11 to October 17.

Dorset Council's rate has risen from 65.1 for October 11 to October 17 to now stand at 110 for October 18 to October 24.

Public Health Dorset said due to the most recent dates having incomplete data, the seven-day rate is based on a period with a five-day time lag. The county-wide health authority has been publishing weekly case rates since the end of July.

For October 18 to 24, the BCP Council area had 774 cases, up from 481 in the previous seven days, and the Dorset Council region had 414 cases, up from 245.

On the overall picture in the county, Public Health Dorset said: "Over the last few weeks, we have seen a significant rise in confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Dorset. We are constantly reviewing the data and considering our options with local and regional partners. At the moment, both Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas remain in Tier 1 (medium local alert level).

"Our case numbers are continuing to go up particularly in the 18-30 age range and we are seeing more patients in our hospitals who are testing positive with Covid-19. 

"The situation in Dorset is serious. We need everyone to do their bit and follow the guidelines otherwise we will see ourselves moving to a higher tier."

The following advice was given by Public Health Dorset:

  • We all need to limit contact with people outside of our household.
  • Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 must self-isolate immediately and book a test.
  • If you are waiting for a test result you and your whole household must self-isolate until you get the result.
  • If you test positive or have been identified as a close contact, you must self-isolate.
  • Self-isolating means you must not leave your home at all. Do not go to work or school, do not go to the shops and do not leave the house for exercise.