SEVERAL areas in Herefordshire are still seeing the number of coronavirus cases rise, despite an overall drop across the county.

In the seven days to Friday, October 14, a UK Government heatmap showed the areas in Herefordshire with the highest number of new coronavirus cases.

Some 63 cases were found in Hereford Central, and 53 in Shobdon, Luston and Bodenham.

It meant infection rates in the areas were 621.1 and 588.6 cases per 100,000 people respectively.

It comes as an NHS boss has called for a plan B from the Government to avoid a winter crisis.


The map breaks Herefordshire down into 23 sections known as middle super output areas.

These are used to try and improve the reporting of small area statistics, with an average population over around 7,200 people in England and Wales.

Other areas with infection rates of 500 cases per 100,00 people or higher include Leominster South; Kington, Eardisley and Staunton; and Hereford West.

In total, Herefordshire reported 791 cases in the seven-day period, giving it a infection rate of 408.5 cases per 100,000 people.

That was 108 fewer cases than the week before, when the infection rate was 464.3.

Seven–day rates are expressed per 100,000 population and are calculated by dividing the seven day count by the area population and multiplying by 100,000. This helps when comparing rates across the county.

But cases are still rising in Hereford North East; Penyard, Llnagarron and Goodrich; Colwall, Cradley and Wellington Heath; Shobdon, Luston and Bodenham; Leominster South; Hereford Central; Ledbury; and Kington, Eardisley and Staunton.

Full area-by-area breakdown.

An NHS leader has desperately pleaded with ministers to immediately enforce “Plan B” Covid restrictions or “risk stumbling into a winter crisis”.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, has urged the Government to implement the back-up strategy which involves measures including bringing back mandatory face coverings in public places.

He said the NHS is preparing for what could be “the most challenging winter on record” and urged the public to “show extra support for the NHS” by “behaving in ways that will keep themselves and others safe”.

He added: “It is time for the Government to enact Plan B of its strategy without delay because without pre-emptive action, we risk stumbling into a winter crisis.

“Also, health leaders need to understand what a ‘Plan C’ would entail if these measures are insufficient.

“The Government should not wait for Covid infections to rocket and for NHS pressures to be sky high before the panic alarm is sounded.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has previously said Plan B would only be used if there was a “significant risk of the NHS being overwhelmed”.

The spokesman said: “There are a number of different factors that would play into that decision.

“Largely it would be required when there was a significant risk of the NHS being overwhelmed.

“We are not at that point. Because of the vaccination programme, the levels we are seeing in both patients admitted to hospital and deaths are far lower than we saw in previous peaks.”

It comes after Herefordshire Council warned some people in the county could have been affected by an issue with false negative Covid test results.

An estimated 43,000 in the UK people could have been given wrong negative PCR Covid test results, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.

NHS Test and Trace suspended testing operations provided by Immensa Health Clinic Ltd at its laboratory in Wolverhampton, following an investigation into reports of people receiving negative PCR test results after they have previously tested positive on a lateral flow.

A negative PCR means people will not have needed to isolate and could potentially have spread the infection to many other people.


The errors relate to test results given to people between September 8 and October 12, mainly in the South West of England, but with some cases in the South East and Wales – and Herefordshire Council warned people in the county had been affected.

There are no technical issues with test kits themselves and people should continue to test as normal, UKHSA said.

It said a full investigation is being carried out into why and how incorrect results were given.

UKHSA has reported that testing operations provided by Immensa Health Clinic Ltd, based at its laboratory in Wolverhampton, have been suspended. This followed an investigation into reports of people receiving negative PCR test results after they have previously tested positive on a Lateral Flow Device.

"While this has mainly affected samples that have come from the South West region, some Herefordshire residents have been affected," the council said.

It said anyone who could have received an incorrect negative test result in the previous 10 days will be informed and asked to repeat their test.

NHS Test and Trace will also contact all those who may have had an incorrect negative test over the last four weeks to inform them of this incident and to apologise. Everyone affected should be contacted by October 24.

"If you receive a text message from NHS Test and Trace please follow the guidance to book a PCR test," the spokesperson said.

"Close contacts who are symptomatic will also be advised to take a test in line with the normal guidance.

"Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should book a PCR test. Those with a positive LFD (lateral flow device) test should get a follow up PCR test to confirm they have Covid-19."