PUBLIC health officials have issued a stern warning as they say people of all ages letting their guard down has been behind a rise in Covid cases.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) West Midlands has expressed concern about the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the region.

In the last week 28,369 positive cases have been recorded in the West Midlands with a rate of 475.8 cases per 100,000 of the population.

But the rate for Herefordshire is much higher than the region's average.

Figures for the seven days to October 1 showed the county had a rate of 469.0 per 100,000 population after 908 cases were found in the period.


That was up from 411.1 per 100,000 after 796 cases the week before, with the rate rising again after a brief fall.

A spokesperson said the agency, formerly Public Health England, was worried that people of all ages had "let their guard down".

"With children and young people enjoying the half-term break, families are going to be out and about and mixing more," they said.

UKHSA West Midlands is encouraging everyone to continue to be cautious when around others and continue taking "fundamental infection control measures" such as social distancing, wearing masks in enclosed public places, washing hands regularly and taking regular lateral flow tests.


Clive Wright, operations director for UKHSA in the West Midlands, said: “Cases are rising across all parts of the country and the West Midlands region is no exception.

"This is a reminder to us all that the pandemic is not over. There are steps we can all take to help protect each other from Covid-19.

“If you are offered a vaccine, including a booster, take it as soon as you can.

"Consider wearing a mask in crowded spaces and open windows and doors to ventilate the room when you have guests.

“We must not forget that one in three cases do not have symptoms but can spread the virus to more vulnerable people. Testing regularly, if you are out and about and mixing with others, and reporting all results is important in identifying cases and to break chains of transmission.

"If you have symptoms, no matter how mild, please play safe, take a test and stay at home until you know you are in the clear.”