CASES of coronavirus in Dorset and the BCP Council area remain significantly higher than the average for the rest of England, says Public Health Dorset.

As part of its weekly Covid-19 update, Public Health Dorset (PHD) stated that cases remain highest amongst school-aged children and hospitalisations continue to rise.

PHD urged people to take lateral flow tests before mixing in large groups and attending social gatherings as well as getting vaccinated. 

The health provider said: "After a short period of declining case rates, we've seen cases rise again over the past week across Dorset. 

“Both the Dorset Council and BCP Council areas remain significantly above the average case rate for England, as well as above the regional average in the South West. Cases remain highest amongst school-aged children, but we are also seeing high rates in middle and older age groups. 

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“The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 across Dorset has also continued to rise.  

“As we move into the colder months and the Christmas period, we must remember that the risks from COVID-19 have not gone away. If you're going to an event or gathering with lots of people or in an enclosed space, take a lateral flow test before you go to reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 on to other people. 

“When meeting indoors, open windows regularly to let fresh air in and prevent airborne spread of the virus. 

“Although we know that people who have been vaccinated can still catch and spread COVID-19, vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself from serious illness. We can see that in the data, as in previous waves we saw much higher hospitalisations when we were experiencing similar case rates. 

“Please get your jabs if you haven't already done so, and take up the offer of the booster vaccine if you're eligible.”