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Latest updates on COVID-19 in Dorset

With local agencies now playing a lead role in identifying and responding to local coronavirus outbreaks, we are publishing weekly updates on this page to keep residents, businesses and partner agencies informed of the latest COVID-19 situation in the county.

The updates will include the number of cases in both the Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas over the latest 7-day period, the latest local case rates in comparison to regional and national rates, the position on key settings like care homes and schools, as well as any other key information and reminders about social distancing measures.

Updated: 29 October 2020

Overall picture in Dorset

Over the last few weeks, we have seen a significant rise in confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Dorset. We are constantly reviewing the data and considering our options with local and regional partners. At the moment, both Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas remain in Tier 1 (medium local alert level).

Our case numbers are continuing to go up particularly in the 18-30 age range and we are seeing more patients in our hospitals who are testing positive with Covid-19. 

The situation in Dorset is serious. We need everyone to do their bit and follow the guidelines otherwise we will see ourselves moving to a higher tier.

  • We all need to limit contact with people outside of our household.
  • Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 must self-isolate immediately and book a test.
  • If you are waiting for a test result you and your whole household must self-isolate until you get the result.
  • If you test positive or have been identified as a close contact, you must self-isolate.
  • Self-isolating means you must not leave your home at all. Do not go to work or school, do not go to the shops and do not leave the house for exercise.

There is support available to anyone who needs help to self-isolate. If you live in the Dorset Council area contact 01305 221000. If you live in the BCP Council area contact 0300 123 7052.


The table below shows the number of confirmed new positive cases of COVID-19 in the BCP Council and Dorset Council areas in the latest 7-day period. There can be a time lag of a few days to allow us to report the most complete data. 

The number of coronavirus cases in the Dorset and BCP Council areas
 Time periodCases in BCP Council area Cases in Dorset Council area 
18 - 24 Oct 774 414
11 - 17 Oct 481 245
4 - 10 Oct 453 182
28 Sep - 4 Oct 265 93
22 - 28 Sep 20 78 29
16 - 22 Sep 20 48 18
9 - 15 Sep 20 38 17
2 - 9 Sep 20 57 37
26 Aug - 1 Sep 20 28 9
19 - 25 Aug 20 9 12
12 - 18 Aug 20 17 6
5 - 11 Aug 20 10 11
28 Jul - 3 Aug 20  2 6

Case rates

The table below shows the case rates per 100,000 of the population for the BCP Council and Dorset Council areas, the South West region and England in the latest 7-day period. Cases are reported by specimen date (when the test was taken) and because the most recent dates are incomplete, our data (as well as data on the gov.uk dashboard) is based on a 7 day period with a 5 day time lag. 

Case rates for BCP Council, Dorset Council, South West and England
 Time periodBCP Council Dorset Council South WestEngland 
18 - 24 Oct 195.6 110.0 189.9 160.3
11 - 17 Oct 121.5 65.1 157.6 169.7
4 - 10 Oct 115.1 48.2 134.6 147.1
28 Sep - 4 Oct 67.0 24.7 92.1 118.1
22 - 28 Sep 20 19.7 7.7 33.2 55.1
12 - 18 Sep 20  15.7 5.6 20.4 38.1
5 - 11 Sep 20 21.0 8.2 10.4 34.1
29 Aug - 4 Sep 20 12.9 8.0 10.4 21.9
22 - 28 Aug 20 5.3 2.7 6.5 12.8
15 - 21 Aug 20 4.3 3.2 6.7 11.3
8 - 14 Aug 20 4.0 3.2 4.9 12.2
5 - 11 Aug 20 2.5 2.9 5 7.8
24 - 30 Jul 20 1.8 1.3 4.5 9

Localised data

The government data website has lots of national, regional and local information.

To find out more about the situation in your local area, search by postcode or explore the interactive map.


The number of patients with COVID-19 in hospital beds in Dorset has been rising over the past few weeks.

As of 27 October 2020, there were 85 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds in Dorset. This is in comparison to 44 patients on 21 October 2020.

You can find more on hospital admissions by trust level on the NHS England website.

COVID-19 deaths

You can find up-to-date information about the latest number of COVID-related deaths in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area and the Dorset Council area on the gov.uk data website.

Care homes

We are continuing to see positive cases in a number of care homes identified through routine whole care home testing. These are monitored closely working with partners in adult social care, NHS Dorset CCG and the care homes themselves to ensure all necessary measures are being taken.

local care home visiting policy is in place and is being reviewed at the Health Protection Board each week. Care homes with positive cases are required to pause visiting and all care homes have been asked to review their own visiting policies and practices. There is currently no change to the care home visiting policy but this will continue to be reviewed and if we do move into the high category (tier 2) care home visits would need to be suspended.  

Likewise day services may remain open in line with national guidance and risk assessment, with further review each week. If we moved to the high COVID alert level this would need to be reviewed.


We continue to see cases associated with schools reported in both the Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas.

We have well-established processes in place to work closely with affected schools to respond to cases, ensure all necessary measures are implemented and identify and advise any close contacts to self-isolate.

Schools with confirmed positive cases communicate directly with parents and carers regarding any actions that need to be taken and any changes to school provision. All close contacts of confirmed cases are contacted and advised to self-isolate, so other members of the school community do not need to self-isolate and should not get tested unless specifically directed to do so.

Latest updates about schools in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area and schools in the Dorset Council area that have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and any necessary action taken.


We are continuing to see a number of positive cases amongst university students in the Bournemouth area, as is to be expected. At the moment these cases are dispersed across the student population and different residences.

Bournemouth University now publishes weekly figures on their website.

Currently the number of cases amongst students in Bournemouth continues to be relatively low compared to elsewhere in the UK but we are working with universities, BCP Council and Public Health England South West to monitor the situation and respond accordingly.

Universities have implemented a wide range of public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission on university sites. However we need everyone to keep playing their part, maintaining social distancing rules and other public health measures at all times to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

You can find out more about the measures each university has in place: