A county councillor has spoken of the importance of protecting the NHS as Covid cases in Ledbury continue to rise.

Helen I’Anson, who represents Ledbury South, spoke after Government figures showed Covid cases across Herefordshire almost doubled in a week.

The county reported 2,138 cases in the seven days to December 30, giving it an infection rate of 1,104.3 cases per 100,000 people.

That was 1,005 more cases than the week before when the infection rate was 585.2. A fortnight earlier it was 382.2.

The figures show cases in Herefordshire rose by 88.7 per cent in a week, and the infection rate is now at its highest level ever.

In Ledbury, the number of cases rose by 116% to 80.

“Cases are rising all over,” said Councillor I’Anson. “It’s important people keep testing, keep wearing a mask and doing what they can to protect the NHS.

“People in Ledbury seem to be responsible - my husband and I have opened a shop in Ledbury and barr one or two people, everyone has worn a mask and been very careful.”

Cllr I’Anson also said she was trying to find out why a mobile testing unit that was scheduled to be outside the Market House in Ledbury on Wednesday hadn’t turned up.

Herefordshire Council’s testing team updated its website yesterday to say pop-ups at Halo Leisure and High Town in Hereford had closed early after running out of tests.

At the time of writing, there was no update on the Ledbury pop-up.

Despite the big spike in cases in Herefordshire, the number of people in hospital remains at one of the lowest levels since the summer.

On December 21, the number of Covid patients at the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, fell to a three-month low of 15.

And that number fell further to seven on Christmas Eve – the lowest since mid-August.

But since Christmas Eve, that number has risen to 15 as of Tuesday (December 28), suggesting a further rise could be on the way.