CIVIC chiefs have urged residents across the conurbation to stay at home to stop the deadly coronavirus, as it continues to spread locally at an 'alarming rate'.

Concerned BCP council bosses say the threat from Covid-19 has never been greater in the local area, with infections doubling every five days within the conurbation.

Figures show that since New Year's Day someone has been admitted to hospital with Covid-19 every hour locally – with at least one patient dying every six hours.

Cllr Nicola Greene, BCP member for public health, said: "Covid-19 is currently spreading in our local area at an alarming rate.

"As a community we must act to stop the spread of this deadly virus and the simplest action we can all take is to stay at home.

"Transmission between households is now the primary way in which Covid-19 is spreading in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, so we must not visit others or allow others into our homes if we are to stop the spread.

“Our local hospitals are seeing a record number of patients with Covid-19, including in the under 60s age group, with many very seriously ill on ventilators."

In the latest published seven-day data, 786 people in every 100,000 has tested positive for Covid-19 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Cllr Greene also says a number of council services are being reviewed in light of the rising local virus rates.

"Services are being managed in line with the latest government lockdown guidelines," she said. "But further services may close if the risk becomes too great."

Meanwhile, BCP Council leader Cllr Drew Mellor said: "Our immediate priority last week was to comply with government guidelines in terms of which services can and cannot operate.

"We are now looking carefully at all those services which can continue, to ask ourselves whether they really should.

"We will be looking at detailed data to inform our decisions, including pedestrian numbers, beach hut usage, library click and collect take up and takeaway sales, to determine whether it is right that services continue in the current climate.”