The number of coronavirus cases in Bristol has almost doubled in a week as Omicron rapidly spreads, with the city recording another record daily rise today.
However, the official figures also show a glimmer of hope, as within that period the number of hospitalisations and deaths has decreased.
It comes as a study suggests people who contract the Omicron variant are between 50 and 70 per cent less likely to require hospital care compared with previous variants such as Delta.
According to data released by Bristol City Council today, the number of confirmed positive tests in the city shot up from 2,276 on December 10 to 4,274 on December 17 (Friday).
The rate of infection in that same time frame rose from 489 cases per 100,000 people to 917 cases per 100,000, and health bosses predict one in five people in the Bristol area will have covid by New Year’s Eve if that trend continues.
It comes as the city records another record daily rise in case numbers, with Government data released today (Thursday, December 23) showing 1,181 new cases in the 24 hour period accounted for, up from the record 1,097 recorded on Tuesday.
However, more encouragingly, the number of people with covid in the city’s hospitals has dipped slightly from 95 on December 8 to 84 yesterday (December 22).
Figures reported by the council on December 8 showed that six per cent of care homes in Bristol had reported coronavirus outbreaks or clusters in the seven days prior, but as of December 15, only one per cent had recorded any that week.
The number of schools reporting outbreaks has crept up slightly as the Christmas holidays arrived, from 36 on December 9 to 39 on December 15.
Council figures record two outbreaks in Bristol workplaces as of December 15, up from none the week before. The virus is still having a serious impact on businesses, with many hospitality venues having to close at their busiest time of year due to cases among staff.
The daily breakdown of coronavirus cases in the Bristol region today is reported below, with the total number since the pandemic began compared to the daily rise in brackets:
- Bristol – 88,092 (+1,181)
- North Somerset – 33,049 (+320)
- South Gloucestershire – 49,635 (+462)
- Bath and North East Somerset – 31,853 (+298)
One more person in North Somerset and one more person in Bath and North East Somerset have died within 28 days of testing positive.
Nationally, a further 119,789 coronavirus cases have been recorded today, bringing the total to 11,769,921 since the pandemic began.
Another 147 people have died with the virus, bringing the UK death toll to 147,720 only including those who died within 28 days of a positive test.
The UK Health Security Agency says early findings about Omicron are “encouraging” but, even though data suggests it might lead to milder symptoms, the variant could still lead to large numbers of people in hospital.
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