Dorset has seen a drop in confirmed case rates across the county.

But health chiefs have warned this could be down to testing behaviour changes.

In their weekly update, Public Health Dorset 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.

"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."

Across Dorset, there are just nine locations currently identified as a hotspot.

While there are no areas within the highest bracket of Covid case rates on an interactive map on the government website, parts of the county have recorded rates between 800 and 1,599 per 100,000 people.

In the seven days to February 15, there were 2701 cases - a drop of 580 (-17.7 per cent).

The case rate per 100,000 people is 680.4. 

In Dorset for the same period, there were 2282 cases - a drop of 801 (-26.0 per cent).

The case rate per 100,000 people is 600.9.

Bournemouth Echo:

Where are the hotspots in BCP and east Dorset?

  • East Southbourne & Hengistbury Head - 76 cases, case rate 928.6
  • Jumpers Common & Fairmile - 75 cases, case rate 772.6
  • Throop & Muscliffe - 87 cases, case rate 954.2
  • Moordown - 71 cases, case rate 882.4
  • Kinson West - 53 cases, case rate 821.7
  • Wimborne Minster - 68 cases, case rate 876.9 
  • Queens Park - 83 cases, case rate 959.6
  • Charminster - 71 cases, case rate 874.9
  • Branksome east - 56 cases, 859.3