07:26PM, Monday 20 December 2021
Coronavirus cases in Windsor and Maidenhead have surged by more than 50 per cent compared to the previous week, the latest figures show.
Data from Public Health Berkshire reveals 1,641 positive cases were recorded in the borough between Saturday, December 11 and Friday, December 17.
This compared to 1,062 the previous seven days, a rise of 54.5 per cent.
Neighbouring Slough recorded 962 cases between Saturday, December 11 and Friday, December 17 compared to 844 cases the previous week.
This represented a rise of 14 per cent.
A meeting of Windsor and Maidenhead council’s outbreak engagement board took place today where an update was provided on how the spread of the Omicron variant is impacting hospital services in the area.
Caroline Farrar, a representative from Frimley CCG, said COVID-19-related illness and self-isolation left 123 hospital staff off work at the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust on Friday.
She told the meeting: “The number of staff with COVID-19 or who are self-isolating is going up and that’s a concern.”
The latest NHS figures, released on Thursday, show 80 patients with COVID-19 are currently occupying beds at the trust’s three hospitals, which include Wexham Park and Heatherwood.
Ms Farrar added: “We don’t yet know what the impact of the Omicron variant will be on hospitalisation in Frimley.
“Even if hospitalisation rates are lower, the numbers of people who are infected is now growing so much, a lower percentage of a higher number could have the same impact on services.”
Councillor Helen Price (TbF, Clewer and Dedworth East) asked the meeting why infection rates are so high in Windsor and Maidenhead despite the borough’s high vaccine uptake.
Anna Richards, public health consultant at the Royal Borough, said: “There isn’t a specific rationale or explanation for it. There isn’t a specific outbreak that’s explaining it.
“It just appears to be higher community transmission. We have in the past also had higher testing rates in RBWM than surrounding areas.
“If you’re testing more it’s likely that you will find more cases.”