THE number of confirmed Covid cases in Cheshire West and Chester is on the rise once more, amid concerns the virus is spreading in the North West.

The borough's Covid infection rate, which measures the number of confirmed cases in a week per 100,000 population, had been among the lowest in England.

At its lowest, just 15 cases were recorded in a week, the lowest number for the area since March 2020, when Covid testing was nowhere near as widespread as now.

But in the past few days, the borough has been hit with the highest one-day increases for nearly two months.

According to the Government's Covid dashboard, 20 cases have been recorded on May 26 alone, and in the most recent four days (May 24-27), there have been 43 cases recorded, although this is data is incomplete and further cases for these days may still need to be accounted for.

It comes as latest NHS England data has revealed that two Covid patients have been admitted to the Countess of Chester Hospital on May 22. The hospital had previously had no Covid patients between May 8 and May 21, with the last patient to be admitted on April 22.

Despite the rise, the numbers are a long way from the peaks being reported elsewhere in the North West, where an average of 180 cases per day are being recorded in Bolton, and from the peaks Cheshire West and Chester itself had in January this year, where over 2,000 cases were recorded in a week at the height of the pandemic.

Data from the Bolton area has shown the vast majority of new cases recorded are in people aged under 50 – who are much more likely in general to have not received both Covid vaccine doses.

In Cheshire West and Chester, more than seven in 10 adults (70.8 per cent – 212,823 people) have received one vaccine, while over four in 10 (44.9 per cent – 134,999 people) have received both doses.