The age group with the worst coronavirus rate in Herefordshire

Public health statistics released by the government show the rate of people with at least one positive Covid-19 test result per 100,000 population in a seven-day period.

The data shows the over 90s group has one of the highest infection rates, as Herefordshire’s public health chief confirmed there had been some outbreaks of Covid-19 at care homes recently.

The case rates are taken for three dates – January 1, the latest information available, and a month ago on December 1.

The difference in the data shows how quickly the rates have rapidly risen over the last four weeks.

The worst affected age group is 20 to 24 years olds. The infection rate has risen from 91.4 cases per 100,000 on December 1 to 651.5 on January 1.

The over 90s group has also seen a big rise over recent weeks, with public health director Rebecca Howell-Davies saying most of the cases have been linked to care homes.

She didn’t comment on how many cases there had been, or at which care homes.

Herefordshire’s acting director of public health Dr Howell-Davies said: “It’s in Herefordshire with our relatively small numbers [population], but if you group up those population it’s the youngest adults comes out as highlighting quite a lot, and also the working age population.

“We do get some higher levels in our older population, but that tends to be when we’ve had an outbreak at a care home, for example.

“But it’s that working age population, particularly those in their early 20s, that quite often come out as higher.”

When asked if the high seven-day infection rate of 379.4 for the over 90s was as a result of care home outbreaks, she said: “Yes, but not all of those cases will be in care homes.

“Care homes have been the difficult one throughout the third wave and throughout the pandemic, that’s the real reason why it’s been so important to get the vaccination out for those groups as early as possible.”

Hereford Times