HOSPITALS in Dorset are currently facing the highest number of patients with Covid-19 so far this year.

Public Health Dorset said despite this, rates "continue to fall" and noted there had also been a change in testing in recent weeks.

A spokesperson said: “We have continued to see a fall in confirmed case rates in the Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas over the past week.

READ MORE: Health secretary Sajid Javid visits Beales health facility in Poole

“There have been changes to testing behaviour in recent weeks due to policy changes so we continue to use a range of data to understand and respond to the pandemic.

“There are now over 100 people in Dorset hospitals with COVID-19.”

Latest data for the seven days to February 12, shows there were 2,966 cases in the BCP Council area with 2,656 in the Dorset Council area. These were down from 3,650 and 3,358 respectively.

The latest rates per 100,000 people were 747.1 for the BCP area and 699.3 for Dorset.

The previous week, these were 919.4 in BCP and 884.2 in wider Dorset.

In hospitals, there are 103 patients being treated for Covid across Dorset compared to 92 previously.

This is currently the highest number of Covid patients seen in Dorset hospitals this year.

The Public Health Dorset spokesperson added: “There are still plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated in Dorset, visit COVID-19 vaccinations in Dorset – NHS Dorset CCG for more information.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness caused by COVID-19.”