THE county’s Public Health chief has urged the public to keep up the good work fighting coronavirus as Wyre Forest's infection rate continues to rise.

While the rate of increase has slowed down in the district, Wyre Forest's infection rate continues to rise day after day and now sits at 285.3 per 100,000 people.

In the seven days up to November 12 - the latest data available - the district recorded 289 coronavirus cases, compared to 268 in the week up to November 5. The infection rate that week was 264.6.

Wyre Forest currently has the second highest rate in Worcestershire after Redditch, which recorded a rolling infection rate of 337.8 in the seven days up to November 12, with 288 positive cases.

A week earlier, Redditch's infection rate was 308.5 with 263 cases.

Bromsgrove's infection rate stands at 283.3 with 283 cases, compared to a rate of 212.3 and 212 cases a week earlier.

Worcester's rate has risen to 280.6 with 284 cases. The week before, the city had a rate of 221.3 with 224 positive coronavirus cases.

In Wychavon, the infection rate stands at 167.7 with 217 positive cases in the most recent week, compared to a rate of 163 and 211 cases the week before.

Malvern was the only district which saw its infection rate fall compared to the previous week. It now has a rate of 113.1 with 89 cases, compared to 120.7 with 95 cases a week earlier.

In comparison, Birmingham's latest infection rate was 380.9 with 4,349 Covid cases, compared to a rate of 327.2 and 3,736 cases the week before.

The figures are based on tests carried out in laboratories and in the wider community. Data for the most recent four days have been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

A majority of areas in England - 238 out of 315 - have seen a rise in case rates.

Hull has the highest rate in England, with 2,017 new cases recorded in the seven days to November 12 - the equivalent of 776.4 cases per 100,000 people. This is up from 686.0 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to November 5.

Worcestershire's director of Public Health has warned residents to continue taking the virus seriously after the county recorded its worst weekend death toll since April.

She said: “The increase in case numbers and deaths across the county is a real concern. It is also a stark reminder that Coronavirus remains in our communities.

"It is imperative that we all continue to take the virus seriously, following the Hand, Face, Space and social distancing guidelines at all times.

"The guidelines apply to everyone and following them is the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus.

"This includes staying the full two metres apart from other people. By doing all we can and avoiding social contact with others, we are saving lives. It is that simple.

"This high level of social distancing is vital to keep everyone safe and to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Dr Cobain was speaking after 12 new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded across the weekend of November 14 and 15.

This is the worst weekend figure experienced since April, though the number of deaths is still some way off the 30 recorded on April 18 and 19.

The weeks and months since then have seen consistently low death rates. In recent weeks, there has been either zero or one death reported most days.

The death toll coincides with the news that the number of Covid patients in county hospitals has reached levels not seen since May.

A total of 64 beds were occupied by Covid patients in Worcestershire on November 5, according to the latest NHS figures. Seven of the people in hospital with Covid were using a ventilator.

Figures show there was a sharp increase in Covid patients being admitted to hospital towards the end of October, with eight people taken onto wards in the last two weeks. Six of the people were admitted in the week up to November 4.