With the coronavirus situation changing day by day. Here's an overview of what’s happened in Dorset this week.


Earlier this week, the Bournemouth Echo published special features by Andy Martin on the situation in Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital and how staff are dealing with the pandemic.

By mid-Sunday evening, there were 319 patients in hospital with Covid-19 which is quadruple the number at Christmas.

The medical director for medicine across the two University Hospitals Dorset sites, Dr Tristan Richardson, called projections for Poole and Bournemouth Hospitals in the next week "frightening".

UHD's figures calculated on Friday project say up to 600 beds Covid beds could be needed in the next two weeks, more than half of all beds at the two sites.

Bournemouth Echo:

Read more: "This is so frightening”: 600 hospital beds could be needed for Covid patients in the next two weeks

The peak of infections is still days away, expected around January 20.

Read more: ‘I wish Covid rule breakers could see fears, frustrations and tears shed in our hospital’

Trust chief executive Debbie Fleming said: “People are traumatised. Some have post traumatic stress. Some are off sick and don’t want to come to work. But they do it for their colleagues for their patients and because of the calling that drew them into the NHS in the first place."

On Wednesday, 22 deaths were confirmed in Dorset hospitals as the county recorded its highest ever increase.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were around 360 Covid-19 patients being treated in the Royal Bournemouth and Poole hospitals which was an increase of more than 100 in five days.

This had grown to 452 by Friday

Police officers in Dorset are stepping up to drive ambulances as health services come under increasing pressures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A formal request for assistance was made by South Western Ambulance Service this week to provide additional blue-light emergency drivers.

Read more: 'All hands to the pump': Dorset Police officers step in to drive ambulances


Bournemouth Echo:

GP surgeries across the county have been busy vaccinating elderly and vulnerable patients.

Data from December 8, 2020, to January 10 showed the South West region has administered more than 280,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses - although it is some way behind over parts of England. Weekly vaccination data updates showed a total of 285,332 first and second doses had been given across Dorset and the rest of the South West.

Mary Sainsbury, 78, became the first NHS worker at Poole Hospital to receive a Covid-19 vaccination at the site this week.

Following months of shielding and being unable to see her family, emergency admissions officer Mary was at the front of the queue for jabs on Monday afternoon.

More than 25 per cent of staff across the conurbation's main NHS hospitals have received their first coronavirus vaccination jabs.

University Hospitals Dorset confirmed that it had surpassed the quarter of workers mark.

Meanwhile, thousands of volunteers are ready and waiting to help deliver the ambitious coronavirus vaccination programme in Dorset.

Many of those offering their services will be asked to help at the Bournemouth International Centre which is set to open as a regional mass vaccination centre.


Bournemouth Echo:

Cases have continued to rise and on Monday there were 22 Covid 'hotspots' across Dorset with four areas in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole recording case rates above 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.

The number of cases in the BCP area since the start of the pandemic surpassed 15,000

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.

Read more: Shocking figures show infections doubling every five days in BCP area

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.

On Friday, Public Health Dorset said the Covid case rate in the BCP Council area was above the average for the south west and England. 

Read more: NHS in Dorset facing "most serious situation" ever as Covid rate soars past England average

The health authority said while cases have risen again across the county in the past week, the increase “continues to be steeper” in the BCP area.

It said Dorset's NHS services are facing a "most serious" situation that was 'unlike anything seen before'. 


Bournemouth Echo:

Since the start of term 19 schools in BCP and the surrounding area have reported cases of Covid-19.

Despite schools being closed to most pupils, they must remain open for vulnerable youngsters and children of key workers.

Infant, junior, primary and secondary schools are all affected.

Read more: LISTED: Schools with cases of coronavirus across BCP and Dorset


Bournemouth Echo:

Nearly 70 complaints about Covid rules and social distancing were received by BCP Council in just a week.

A total of 54 related to businesses trading when they should be prohibited from doing so. There were also complaints relating to supermarkets and customers failing to wear face coverings or not social distancing.

The 69 complaints were made between January 4 and 11.

What are the current rules?

Everyone must stay at home. You may only leave home for limited reasons permitted in law, such as to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance such as getting a Covid test, or to escape domestic abuse.

To read all our stories on the coronavirus pandemic, visit bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/coronavirus/