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Latest updates on COVID-19 in Dorset

Published: 22 January 2021

This week's overview

COVID infection rates, particularly across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council area, are not falling as quickly as we would have liked. We have started to see case rates level off and decrease marginally, but until we see a significant reduction in cases our hospital admissions are likely to remain high.

The BCP Council area now has the 20th highest infection rate (793.8 per 100,000) of all local authorities across the UK. This is still much higher than the average rates for England (484) and the South West (331.5). 

Hospital admissions have continued to increase. NHS services in Dorset are experiencing unprecedented and extreme levels of demand. There are now more than four times as many COVID patients in Dorset hospitals than at the peak of the first wave in April. Sadly we are also seeing COVID-related deaths continue to rise.

The single most important thing you can do to help is stay at home as much as possible. Book a test and self-isolate with your household if you develop any symptoms.

Latest data

The visualisation below shows the seven-day case rate, people in hospital beds and deaths for the latest data periods available. There can be a time lag to allow us to report the most complete data. We provide this local update weekly, but you can find information daily on the Public Health England data page.


Summary of the most recent data:

  • 7 day case rates per 100,000
    • BCP: 793.8 (compared to 891.4 in last update on 15 January)
    • Dorset: 310.4 (compared to 333.2 in last update on 15 January)
  • Confirmed cases in last 7 days
    • BCP: 3,138 (compared to 3,524 in last update on 15 January)
    • Dorset: 1,175 (compared to 1,261 in last update on 15 January)
  • Current COVID-19 patients in hospital beds in Dorset: 552 (compared to 452 in last update on 15 January)




NHS England publish weekly data on the number of COVID-19 vaccinations given by local area. Up to 17th January, 68,693 doses had been administered to people in Dorset. 

Additional data

You can find further information about COVID-19 hospital admissions and bed occupancy by trust on the NHS England website. This is usually updated on a weekly basis.

Further data on deaths, including the total number with COVID-19 recorded on the death certificate, is available from the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. This is usually updated on a weekly basis.

Data for specific local areas

The government data website has lots of national, regional and local information. You can search by postcode or use the interactive map to find out more about the situation in your local area.

Key settings

Care homes

Care homes take part in routine whole care home testing. Where positive cases are identified, we monitor these closely working with partners in adult social care, NHS Dorset CCG and the care homes themselves to ensure all necessary measures are being taken. 

The government has updated guidance on care home visitsWe are working closely with the care sector to support them with this. If you wish to visit a relative in a care home, please speak to the home about their visiting policy before you arrive. Where care homes have identified outbreaks, visits are only allowed in exceptional circumstances. 


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 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.


Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth now publish weekly figures on their website.

More information can be found on the universities websites: