Coronavirus case rates in Shropshire have rocketed to an all-time high in recent weeks, new figures reveal.

Over the period from New Year’s Eve to January 6, there were 5,374 new Covid-19 cases reported – more than a quarter more than in the previous week.

There were eight Covid related deaths in a local hospital and 55 beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said: “These rates are the highest we have ever seen in Shropshire, and we are now starting to see an increase in the number of people being treated for Covid-19 in our local hospitals which is worrying.

“We are also starting to see the effect on care homes and schools.

“Our health protection teams are working with these settings to minimise the risks as much as possible.

“Being fully vaccinated remains the best defence against the virus.

“Book an appointment online, head to a walk-in clinic, or keep an eye out for Bob the vaccination bus which is making its way around the county targeting areas with lower uptake.

“As always, I ask that you take measures to help us slow the spread of the virus.

“Face coverings in busy places, good hand hygiene, regular testing and good ventilation remain vitally important.”

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, added: “I appreciate how tired everyone is of this situation, especially with the two-year mark fast approaching, but I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts so far.

With guidance frequently changing, it can be hard to keep up with, but it is important to follow it so we keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities safe.”

"The seven-day infection rate for Shropshire was 1,651.4 per 100, 000.

For the West Midlands it was 1,751.1 and it was 1,708.5 for England as a whole