THE CORONAVIRUS infection rate across Rotherham has fallen - but the number of inpatients with the disease at Rotherham Hospital remains high.
Figures for the borough showed the 7-day rate fell to 423 per 100,000 people in the week to Friday, November 6 - a 21 per cent fall from the week before.
At its highest, the infection had risen to high as 515.
However, the level of Covid-19 inpatiens at Rotherham Hospital still remained higher than at any point throughout the pandemic, the trust running Rotherham Hospital said.
Figures released last Wednesday, showed an inpatient figure of 134 - up by 31 from the previous week — seven of whom were in critical care.
Virus death rates at the hospital also increased — as 22 had died within a week last week — bringing the total of deaths to 249 since the start of the pandemic.
Rotherham Council leader, Cllr Chris Read, admitted it was a worry to see rising admissions, adding: "infection numbers are higher than we would want to see.
“Rotherham, like a lot of hospitals, is facing big pressures this winter and is not unique.
“Increased Covid-19 admissions will impact on people who need hospital treatments — I know people needing cancer care are having to wait longer and we don’t want this to continue long-term, although the staff are doing all they can.
“A positive step forward this time around is more people are surviving Covid-19 and they are improving treatment and how to deal with the virus.”
Cllr Read added: “There’s still no particular area where the infection rates are highest, with cases all across our communities.
“Schools are interesting because it seems to be there where a lot of cases are being found, but our information suggests it’s not spreading in schools itself, more from the in and around the community. The schools situation is one we can manage.”
One hopeful sign amid the pandemic is that of lower infection rates in care homes.
“It is a lot better than during the first wave,” said Cllr Read.
“There are still some cases emerging, possibly staff picking it up not knowing, — but staff are tested every week, and we’re doing all we can to protect those in care homes.”
Three months have passed since the main town centre Covid-19 testing site was opened at Forge Island — the minimum amount of time it was set to be there for — but Cllr Read said there was no news of it being removed and expects it to remain for the foreseeable future.
He added that there was now good access to testing, with another test site set to open in Dinnington in the coming weeks.
The council is also pressing the government for a test site in Maltby.