A SPIKE in coronavirus cases in South Hereford has been blamed on pre-lockdown activity.

Seven-day rolling government figures released this week has shown a huge increase in coronavirus cases in areas of the city including Hunderton, Redhill, Newton Farm.

In the seven days up until November 12, 44 cases were reported in Hereford South- a rise of 27 cases (158.8%).

Meanwhile, in Hereford South West 36 new cases were reported- a rise of 20 cases on the previous week.


Coronavirus cases in the area where you live

Herefordshire as a whole saw 315 cases reported in the seven-day period- a rise of 125 on the previous week.

Karen Wright, Herefordshire public health director, blamed the sharp rise on the behaviour of people before lockdown restrictions were enforced on Thursday, November 5.

“The reality is the number of cases is rising across the whole country and neighbouring authorities,” Ms Wright said.

“The data we are seeing today is coming through from the end of half-term.

“We are still seeing the effects of Halloween and pre-lockdown activity across the county of people going to meet their family because they knew we were going into lockdown.

“I do expect those figures to come down. I would expect lockdown to take affect.

“With people only meeting one individual and maintaining that two-metre distance will reduce the transmission.”

Ms Wright added that it was ‘crucial’ that those not in support bubbles did not visit the households of others, especially the elderly or vulnerable.

“Those actions have been linked with the infection transmitting from one person to another in parts of Herefordshire,” she added.

“We are hearing examples across Herefordshire of family still going into the houses of vulnerable people and not social distancing.

“People are allowed one household in their support bubble and if people are going out you should follow the rules.

“There are more cases in the community now so it’s best to think that everybody around including yourself has the virus.

“That way going into the shops for groceries or taking the kids to school you are much more careful keeping your distance and face covering.

“If we all do that we will significantly reduce the transmission.”

Ms Wright also urged people to make a contingency plan for if they contracted Covid-19 or were forced to self-isolate.

She asked people to think about who would support them in buying their shopping or walking their dog.

“Herefordshire people are fantastic at supporting each other and there is help available for those isolating,” she added.

“Friends, neighbours or community support is available.”

NHS England figures show that 24 coronavirus patients were being cared for in Herefordshire hospitals in the past week.

The data shows was recorded at 8am on November 10.

The number is down from 26 on the same day the previous week.

There were five beds occupied by coronavirus patients four weeks ago in Wye Valley NHS Trust.

In the last week St Martin’s Primary School, The Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford Academy, St Mary’s RC High School and Riverside Primary School are amongst those that have confirmed positive cases in their education ‘bubbles’.

Meanwhile, Blackmarston School in Hereford has closed for two weeks following a confirmed case.