More Covid cases now in Dorset than at any other time in pandemic

Latest figures show that the number of people testing positive for Covid in Dorset, has hit its highest peak than at any other point of the pandemic.

The same picture is true for Swanage with the highest number of Covid cases now than previously.


However new weekly data released from Public Health Dorset also shows that the number of deaths related to Covid in Dorset is much lower than during previous waves of the pandemic.

Swanage data

In Swanage there were 138 cases over the last seven days to the 2nd January 2022, an increase of 75 percent.

The case rate in Swanage per 100,000 people is 1,422, which is higher than average for the South West but lower than the average across England which stands at 1,787 per 100,000 people.

Covid-19 home test kit

“Infection rates are very high”

Public Health Dorset said:

“Case rates have continued to rise quickly over the past week across Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP), and remain higher than at any other point during the pandemic. Infection rates are very high across the country.

“In Dorset we have started to see hospitalisations related to Covid-19 rise, up to 74 from 55 in a week. Our hospitals and other critical services are also under increasing pressure due to staff absences related to Covid-19.

“The number of deaths related to Covid-19 has remained relatively stable and continues to be much lower than during previous waves of the pandemic.”

Poole Hospital
Poole Hospital

Poole Hospital is part of the University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Critical incident declared at University Hospitals Dorset

University Hospitals Dorset, which runs hospitals in Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, declared a critical incident on Wednesday 5th January 2022 due to the very limited number of beds available and the high number of staff who were off work either isolating or symptomatic with Covid.

In a statement the hospital trust said:

“This critical incident is an indication of the serious pressure we are facing and demonstrates how we are taking immediate steps to ensure we can still provide our critical services.

“We are working extremely hard to ensure our patients are kept safe.”

While it was able to step down from its critical incident status the next day, it said that it anticipated some very difficult weeks ahead and might need to declare a critical incident again.

Public Health Dorset data for the last seven days to the 1st January 2022

7 day case rates per 100,000

  • Dorset: 1,190.1 (compared to 783.1 in last update on 31st December 2021)
  • BCP: 1,406.6 (compared to 1,087.9 in last update on 31st December 2021)

Confirmed cases in last 7 days

  • Dorset: 4,521 (compared to 2,974 in last update on 31st December 2021)
  • BCP: 5,584 (compared to 4,319 in last update on 31st December 2021)

Current Covid-19 patients in hospital beds in Dorset: 74 (compared to 55 in last update on 31st December 2021)

Queing for Covid vaccinations at Wareham Hospital

Vaccination clinic at Wareham Hospital

Testing and vaccination

Public Health Dorset says that testing remains key to stopping the spread and protecting others, while getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness caused by Covid.

It adds:

“As well as people getting boosted, it’s been great to see people in Dorset coming forward for their first and second doses in recent weeks, and we’d urge anyone who hasn’t yet had their jabs to come forward. There are plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated in Dorset.”

Further information

  • More about Covid and vaccinations is on the Public Health Dorset website
  • Map of number of cases is on the government website

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