Covid cases in the Test Valley have levelled out over the last week.

Out of the six areas around Romsey, the number of cases are up in three and down in three.

In the seven days up to January 12, there were 1,762 Covid cases at a rate of 1,386 per 100,000 people. This is compared to 1,764 cases in the seven days up to January 5 at a rate of 1,387.

The latest figures on the Omicron variant, released on December 23, showed 532 cases in the Test Valley.

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.

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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.

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 rate of Covid cases in the seven days to January 7 is Romsey, Cupernham and Halterworth with 150 cases, down 19 (14.5 per cent) with 1,742 per 100,000 people.

Second is Chilworth, Nursling and Rownhams with 106 cases, down 36 (25 per cent), 1,575.

Third is Romsey Town with 92 cases, up one (one per cent), 1,573.

Fourth is Abbotswood and West Wellow with 122 cases, up 11 (10 per cent), 1,378.5.

Fifth is North Baddesley and Braishfield with 130 cases, down five (four per cent), 1,211.

Sixth is Nether Wallop, King’s Somborne and Dunbridge with 89 cases, down five (five per cent), 1,155.

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The government's Covid dashboard shows 218 people had died in the area by January 12, which was unchanged from the previous day.

It means there has been one death in the past week, which is a decrease on two the previous week.

They were among 19,388 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 Test Valley.

More than 15,000 people in Test Valley have received a booster dose of the Covid vaccine in the last three weeks, new figures show.

It comes after scientists told the Government boosters are highly effective against hospitalisation for older adults, with second booster jabs for the most vulnerable ruled out for now.

Data from the UK Covid dashboard shows 17,838 people received a booster or a third vaccine dose between December 20 and January 9, bringing the total number of people in Test Valley to get a third shot to 81,578.

It means 69% of people aged 12 and over in the area have now had a booster, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database.

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