Covid cases in the Winchester area fell on Tuesday (January 11), after rising again at the start of the week.

Out of the 14 areas around Winchester, eight have seen cases go down with six increasing.

In the seven days up to January 11, there were 1,603 reported Covid cases at a rate of 1,273 per 100,000. This has gone down from 1,727 cases in the seven days to January 10.

The number of Omicron cases, according to the latest government figures released on December 23, is 782 in Winchester. In the south-east region, the figures released on December 31 show there were 46,826 cases of the Omicron variant.

NHS England data shows 578 staff at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were off sick on January 2 – the latest date for which data is available.

Of them, 249 (43 per cent) were off because they had Covid, or were self-isolating due to the virus.

This was a 38 per cent increase on a week before, when 181 Covid-related absences were recorded.

Across England, the number of NHS staff off work due to Covid increased from 24,600 on December 26, to 39,100 on January 2.

Based on monthly workforce data for September – the most recent available – the figures suggest one in 25 NHS staff working in acute hospital trusts are off for Covid-related reasons.

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NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said rising Covid cases were “piling even more pressure” on hospital trust workers.

He said: “Omicron means more patients to treat and fewer staff to treat them.

“While we don’t know the full scale of the potential impact this new strain will have, it’s clear it spreads more easily and, as a result, Covid cases in hospitals are the highest they’ve been since February last year – piling even more pressure on hard-working staff.”

The area with the highest Covid case rate for the seven days to January 6 was Denmead and Southwick is 186 cases, up 26 (16 per cent) at a rate of 1,758.5 per 100,000 people.

Second is Winchester West with 150 cases, up 22 (17 per cent), 1,507.

Third is Wickham, Knowle and Whiteley with 173 cases, up 40 (30 per cent), 1,472.

Fourth is Swanmore, West Meon and Hambledon with 126 cases, up 20 (19 per cent), 1,431.5.

Fifth is Winchester North and Sparsholt with 137 cases, up 27 (24.5 per cent), 1,402.

Sixth is Colden Common and Twyford with 128 cases, down three (two per cent), 1,335.

Seventh is Winchester East with 100 cases, down 14 (12 per cent), 1,233.

Eighth is Bishop’s Waltham and Waltham Chase: 116 cases, down 24 (17 per cent), 1,184.

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The others are: Springvale and Itchen Abbas: 79 cases, down 49 (38 per cent), 1,151; Stanmore: 78 cases, down five (six per cent), 1,127; Winchester Central and South: 126 cases, up 13 (11.5 per cent), 1,125; Oliver’s Battery and Hursley: 80 cases, down one (one per cent), 977.5; South Wonston, Sutton Scotney and Micheldever: 51 cases, down 24 (32 per cent), 861.5 and Alresford: 73 cases, down 18 (20 per cent), 860.5.

More than 10,000 people in Winchester have received a booster dose of the Covid vaccine in the last three weeks, new figures show.

Data from the UK Covid dashboard shows 13,697 people received a booster or a third vaccine dose between December 20 and January 9, bringing the total number of people in Winchester to get a third shot to 79,382.

The dashboard shows 187 people had died in the area by January 11, which was unchanged from the previous day.

It means there has been one death in the past week, which is an increase on none the previous week.

They were among 19,345 deaths recorded across the South East.

The figures include anyone who died within 28 days of a positive test result for Covid, and whose usual residence was in Winchester.

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Kimberley Barber