Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to outline his road-map out of the coronavirus lockdown, with Herefordshire under tough restrictions since January 5.

Herefordshire has rarely been a Covid-19 hotspot, and during the tiered restrictions in 2020, the county did spend the majority under Tier 2 – the second most relaxed.

There was as week also spent living under Tier 1 restrictions. This meants pubs could serve alcohol on its own, and socialising indoors could happen in a group of u pto six people.

But since January 5, the national lockdown has seen all hospitality and leisures business shut, expect for takeaways, and the majority of children learning from home.

Ahead of the Prime Minister officially unveiling how he plans to bring England out of lockdown, we take a look at the situation in Herefordshire.

What is Boris Johnson expected to say?

Reports so far suggest schools, socialising and some sports are set to return next month under the Government’s plan to relax coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England.

It is understood that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell MPs that all pupils in all years can go back to the classroom from March 8, with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed to restart as well.


Socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person will also be permitted in a fortnight when the rules are relaxed to allow people to sit down for a drink or picnic.

How many new coronavirus cases are being found in Herefordshire?

Public Health England said as of 9am on Sunday, 6,499 people had tested positive for coronavirus in Herefordshire since March 1, up from 6,473 at the same time on Saturday.

The Government's online coronavirus dashboard shows that 188 cases have been found in Herefordshire over the last seven days. That is 40 more than the previous week.

Is this infection rate rising?

The figures, for the seven days to February 16, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government's testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Data for the most recent four days (February 17-21) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

In Herefordshire the infection rate, weekly as of a Thursday, had been consistently falling, but the most-recent data for Febuary 16 shows a rise.

The infection rate stood at 100.6 on Tuesday, compared to 77.8 two days before. The rise was as a result of an increase in the number of cases found.

The infection rate was highest amongst under-60s, at 120.6, compared to 57.4 for over-60s.

How many tests are coming back positive?

Other data looked at by scientists and the Government is the positivity rate, or the percentage of tests coming back positive in a seven-day period.

In Herefordshire, as of February 16, the rate was 3.5 per cent.


It means of the 6,104 tests carried out, only around 213 were positive.

Compared to the week before, the rate has risen.

In the week to February 9, 6,123 tests were carried out and 2.8 per cent were positive.

How many patients are in hospital?

Latest figures available from the NHS show there were 25 coronavirus patients at the Wye Valley NHS Trust as of 8am on February 16, eight fewer than at the same time the week before.

But during the week to February 16, the number of Covid-19 patients peaked at 35 on December 10, with four on mechanical ventilators.

The number of coronavirus patients at the trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, was at the lowest point since December 7

In the seven-days to February 14, 14 Covid-19 patients were admitted and diagnosed with coronavirus at the Wye Valley NHS Trust.

That compares to 13 the previous week.

How many Covid-19 patients have died?

NHS England figures show 208 people had died in hospital at Wye Valley NHS Trust as of 4pm on Saturday (February 20).

Twenty-six of the deaths happened since February 1.

In January, 79 patients died in what was the most deadly month of the pandemic so far.

How many people have been given the coronavirus vaccine?

The latest figures from NHS England, which cover up to Sunday (February 14), show 226,241 jabs have now been given in the two counties.

The numbers are not broken down further by NHS England, but they do show a further 40,732 people were given their first jab in the week to February 14.

In total, it means 226,241 doses have been given to date.


Of those, 224,300 were as first doses and 1,941 as second doses – which patients get around 12 weeks after the first.

Using population estimates from the Office for National Statistics, it shows around 95 per cent of 70 to 74-year-olds have had their first jab, almost 100 per cent of 75 to 79-year-olds and 97 per cent of those aged over 80.

In addition to this 92,581 first doses have also been given to a population of around 515,630 16 to 69-year-olds – 30,000 more than had had the jab the week before.

The provisional figures from NHS England show the number of first doses broken down by so-called Sustainability & Transformational Partnerships (STPs), each of which contains a number of local authorities, NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups.