THE outbreak of Covid at Winchester Prison appears to have surged back.

Currently 17 staff are positive and another 21 are shielding/isolating through track and trace.

There are also 47 prisoners positive. The number of inmates isolating is currently unavailable.

According to Sarah Rigby, of the Prison Officer's Association, staff are completing the second phase of the mass testing and the figures are expected to go up over the weekend.

She told the Chronicle: "Staff at Winchester are working very hard to stop the spread of the virus. Face masks, hand washing and social distancing where it is possible. The situation at Winchester is unfortunately similar to that of other sites and it demonstrates why prison staff must be prioritised for the vaccine as soon as possible.

"Front line prison officers are being exposed to the virus every day and they need protecting. There is increased testing of staff and prisoners and a restricted regime to reduce movement and contacts. These combined efforts will hopefully begin to take effect."

The Romsey Road prison is in the Winchester West district of the city.

Over the past week, this Government statistics have shown this area to be a hotspot.

It is the only area of the locality to have a rolling rate above the national average.

The latest figures released this afternoon show that a second wave of Covid appeared to have hit the prison last weekend.
Figures out today for Sunday February 14 show high numbers in Winchester West, the area of Weeke and Fulflood that includes the prison. The week-on-week number of cases was rising to 48, up two, for a rolling week-on-week number of 481.6 per 100,000 people, the highest figure for that area since February 6.
The geographical breakdown for Monday February 15 when 38 cases were reported in Winchester district is not due until tomorrow. There is a week's time lag in the localised figures being made available.
The Ministry of Justice says it does not comment on the number of cases at individual jails.
Today's figure for new Covid cases across the Winchester district was just four, the lowest number since December 3. It shows that across most of the district the number of Covid cases has dropped sharply although the reported fall has been shallower in recent days.
The map shows the Winchester West area and the areas where there have been so few cases that they are shown as white.

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester West (purple) surrounded by areas where Covid has almost disappearedWinchester West (purple) surrounded by areas where Covid has almost disappeared
The number of Winchester district cases since the start of the pandemic is now 4,676 for a rate per 100,000 people of 3,745. The district covers more than just the city but includes countryside from Micheldever to Denmead.
In the seven days to Sunday February 14, the most recent day for which figures are available, there were 116 cases across Winchester district, down 38 on the previous seven days, a drop of 25 per cent, the smallest decline for six days. The rolling rate per100,000 is up to 92.9 the highest number since last Saturday.
Hampshire Chronicle: The latest Winchester figures (to Sunday February 14)The latest Winchester figures (to Sunday February 14)
Because of the slower decline there are now 98 local authority areas out of 315 with better numbers. On Monday there were only 24.
Four areas of Winchester have seen fewer than three cases in a week - Stanmore, Alresford, Springvale and Itchen Abbas and Winchester North and Sparsholt. These areas are now marked white on the Government map.
Covid rates rose in just two areas in the seven days to Sunday February 14, Winchester West and Winchester East, which includes Winnall and Highcliffe, at 11 cases, up one, or 10 per cent, for a rolling number of 135.0, above the national average.
Across the district in the seven days to today, Friday February 19, 96 new cases have been reported, down from 97 on the previous seven days. This is the first the total number of weekly cases over two weeks have been below 100 since December 15.
No person is reported today to have died of Covid in the Winchester district, for the third day running, with the number at 172, a rate of 137.8 per 100,000 people. They died within 28 days of having a positive test.
There are fewer patients at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, but only slightly on the previous week. As of Monday across the Hampshire Hospitals trust area it stands at 124, down one from 125. There are 68 at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and 56 at the RHCH.
The number of cases in the Winchester district since the start of the pandemic is 4,676, an infection rate of 3,745 per 100,000, well below the England average of 6,374.
Six people with coronavirus died in hospitals across Hampshire, according to the latest NHS figures.
Two died at the Hampshire Hospitals trust (HHFT) that runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, moving the number of deaths there to 413. There is no available breakdown on regarding at which hospital the deaths occur.
NHS England statistics published today show that two people were recorded to have died at University Hospital Southampton, taking the total at 448 since the start of the pandemic.
A further two deaths were recorded at Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, bringing its total to 835. No deaths were recorded at Solent trust (8) or Southern (57).
The county’s hospital coronavirus death toll now stands at 1,761.
HHFT says its figures only include those who have a positive test for Covid-19 and not other viruses. Patients with a positive test may also being treated for other ailments.
Across the Hampshire County Council area 11 deaths were reported today, according to the Office for National Statistics. These are when deaths are reported not when they happened. It brings to 2,234 the death toll in the HCC area since last March, a rate of 161.6 per 100,000 people.
Across the county council area today 148 new cases were reported bringing the total to 59,832, for a rate of 4,327 per 100,000. A month ago Hampshire was reporting over a thousand daily.
Deaths reported in Southampton are now 302, down one, or 119.6 per 100,000. In Portsmouth the figure is 336, no change, for 156.3 per 100,000.
Meanwhile, only two local primary schools have reported Covid cases in the last 10 days. They are: Otterbourne and St Bede.

Read more here about the latest Covid position in Winchester district