THE number of Covid patients in Cheshire hospitals remains low – despite a surge in the number of confirmed cases in the county.

Latest weekly hospital data available showed that, as of the morning of Tuesday, June 8, there were a total of nine Covid patients being treated at the county's four hospital trusts.

That was down from the previous week's 10.

There are four Covid patients at the Countess of Chester Hospital Trust, three at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals Trust, plus one each at East Cheshire and Mid Cheshire Hospital Trusts.

At the peak of the pandemic, more than 800 patients were being treated for coronavirus across Cheshire's hospitals in January.

The relatively low number of Covid patient admissions will be seen as positive news amid the rising number of confirmed Covid cases across the county.

In recent weeks, the number of people testing positive for coronavirus had dwindled down to single figures per day, as a result of extended lockdown measures and the roll-out of the vaccine programme.

But the emergence of the more transmissible Delta variant, as well as lockdown measures easing, has led infection rates to rise rapidly in recent weeks.

However, the majority of cases are being detected in younger people, who are much more likely to have not been vaccinated or had only one dose so far.

In Cheshire East, and Cheshire West and Chester, about 200 cases were confirmed in those aged 15-19 in the most recent week of available data.

While the number of confirmed cases is lower in Warrington and Halton, a significant portion are being confirmed in those aged 15-24.

Surge testing is now being rolled out in Northwich and Winsford – two areas in Cheshire West and Chester where the Delta variant of Covid is much higher than the rest of the borough.

Residents are being urged to get PCR tests done, as they are more accurate and can be sent to a laboratory for analysis to detect what variant of Covid is present.

PCR testing has already more than doubled in the past couple of weeks in the borough. Previously about 8,000 tests per week were being carried out, but this has risen to about 18,000.

The surge testing is being implemented by NHS Test and Trace.

All adult residents in Northwich and Winsford should book in for a PCR test at and selecting ‘My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms‘, or by calling 119.

Residents are reminded that they should continue to make use of free twice-weekly rapid tests, commonly known as lateral flow tests (LFTs), alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.

For residents aged 40 or over in Cheshire West and Chester, a roving pop-up Covid vaccine clinic has been providing AstraZeneca jabs to communities. More dates are expected to be announced next week.