NEARLY 200 hospital beds across Essex are occupied by Covid-19 patients as admissions rose by more than 50 per cent in a week.

Essex County Council has confirmed 191 hospital beds in the county are taken up by Covid-19 patients as of Tuesday.

This is 55 per cent higher than the number recorded on October 20.

County Hall is publishing weekly updates on Covid-19 cases in the county following the move to "high" alert tier on October 17.

The council has previously stated it would take three to four weeks to see if the move has an impact on the number of cases.

Case numbers show a further significant rise across nearly all parts of the county.

In the seven days to October 22, there were 1,596 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Essex. This is the latest date for which complete data is available.

On the same date, the weekly case rate (the number of cases recorded in the preceding seven days per 100,000 population) for Essex is 107.2. 

The highest weekly case rates were in Brentwood and Castle Point, with rates of 154.5 and 150.5, respectively.

The numbers in the lowest age groups have flattened or declined, though the increase among older age groups is greater than the all age average.