HEALTH bosses at Shropshire Council are warning the public to make the necessary preparations ahead of the festive season after the county saw its highest Covid-19 rates.

There were 1,765 new Covid-19 cases reported between November 12-18, which was an increase of 14 per cent on the previous week.

The overall infection rate was 542.4 per 100,000 which is considerably higher than the West Midlands rate of 385.4  and England's rate of 411.11.

With 12 deaths in local hospitals, Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, is calling for more people to take up their vaccination offer.

“With the festive season approaching, it is really important that we take the necessary measures to protect ourselves so we can all enjoy Christmas," she said.

"Covid-19 rates are the highest they have been in our communities, cases are still rising and, sadly, there were a further 12 deaths in our local hospitals between November 12-18.

“This weekend there is a national focus on getting vaccinated – whether it’s your first or second dose, or the booster if you are eligible.

"If you are out Christmas shopping on Saturday in Shrewsbury, you can pop into the Darwin Centre between 1pm and 5pm and get a jab.

"You don’t even need a book an appointment – it couldn’t be easier while 12 to 15 year olds can also get the first dose of the vaccination if they are accompanied by a parent or carer.

"The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital in Gobowen is also open for walk-ins.

“When you are out and about shopping or attending busy festive events, please wear a face covering – especially if you are inside. Regularly sanitising your hands and social distancing where you can will also help to minimise the spread of the virus.”