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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.

Published: 27 November 2020

This week's overview

Cases have started to fall quickly as a result of the national restrictions, but we still have work to do.

We are seeing the highest infection rates amongst the 16-29 year old age group, but cases are still too high in over 60s – around 130 cases per 100,000 of the population. This is concerning because of the increased severity of COVID-19 in this age group and the potential impact on hospitals and care homes.  

We know that most infections are spread within and between households, which is why limiting social contact continues to be one of the most important tools we have to reduce infection rates.

Hear more about the current situation in Dorset from Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health, in a recording of this week’s COVID briefing.

Both Dorset and BCP Council areas will be under Tier 2 restrictions from 2 December.

Alongside case rates, a number of factors influence the government’s decision on what tier an area should be in:

  • Case rates in the over 60s and impact in the care sector
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • Testing positivity rate
  • Current pressure on the NHS

The main rules in Tier 2 include:

  • You cannot socialise indoors with anyone who isn’t in your household or support bubble – this includes private homes and indoor venues like pubs and restaurants
  • You can socialise in a group of up to six people outdoors whilst maintaining social distancing
  • Pubs and bars can only operate as restaurants and venues must only serve alcohol with substantial meals

Take a look at the national government guidance to find out more about the rules.

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.

Note: Public Health England recently updated the way they record the location of cases, prioritising addresses given at the point of testing. This change has been applied to data from the 1st September onwards, so may have altered numbers of cases for some days previously published. You can find out more on the Public Health England website.


Summary of the most recent data:

  • 7 day case rates per 100,000
    • BCP 148.7 (compared to 239.5 last week)
    • Dorset 69.5 (compared to 111.0 last week)
  • Confirmed cases in last 7 days
    • BCP: 588 (compared to 947 last week)
    • Dorset: 263 (compared to 420 last week)
  • Current COVID-19 patients in hospital beds in Dorset: 146 (compared to 137 last week)



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

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. Where care homes have positive cases in residents or staff, they are advised to only allow visits in exceptional circumstances.

Due to increased transmission within our communities we are advising extra caution to be taken when visiting care homes. New national guidance has been published to support safe care home visits during lockdown. We continuously review the situation regarding care homes and day care services and will update this should any advice change.


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.


We are seeing a number of positive cases amongst university students in the Bournemouth area, as is to be expected. Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth now publish weekly figures on their website.