Hospitals in East Lancashire are reaching their highest level of COVID patients in six weeks as the country emerges from lockdown.
On May 25, according to the most recent figures, there were 15 coronavirus patients at the beds of the trust, which manages Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General – three of whom are critically ill on ventilators.
Figures published by NHS England show a distinct drop in hospitalizations in the region in late April and early May as cases fell across the country.
However, in the last few weeks these figures have started rising again.
On 24 April, the East Lancashire Teaching Hospital Trust had four Covid patients compared to 17 on 24 May, according to weekly figures.
Regions of East Lancashire have rapidly become the hardest hit by the Indian version of the virus, making the infection rate among the highest in the UK.
The figures for seven days to May 28 are based on the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the lab-report or rapid lateral flow test, as on the sampling date.
The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.
The rate of blackburn remains highest in Lancashire with Darwin reporting 653 new cases in the seven days to May 28, which equates to 436.2 cases per 100,000 people.
Elsewhere in the county, where infection rates generally remain low, statistics on hospital admissions and bed use paint a similar picture.
On 24 May at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, an area where the current infection rate is 22.9 per 100,000, there were three patients in normal beds and none in critical care.
This is an increase of one since April 24.
Similarly, the figure remains low at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which manages the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.
Hospital figures remain stable, despite rising infections in Preston, South Ribble and Chorley, which have rates of 120.2, 111.0 and 93.9 respectively.
There were five people in all beds on April 24 and two by May 24 – none of whom were in critical care.
This photo is from the University of Morecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust, which saw eight patients on 24 May and nine on 24 April.
The infection rate in Lancaster, which is provided by the trust, is the lowest in the county at 31.5 per 100,000, up from 19.2 seven days earlier as of May 28.
Due to the time lag in reporting hospitalizations in trusts across the UK, it is not yet known how infection rates have affected the number of patients diagnosed with the disease over the past four days.
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