Coronavirus crisis: Over 85s hardest hit as hospital cases rise

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Public Health England says the highest rates were among young adults: 333 cases per 100,000 of those aged 20-29 and 274 of those aged 30-39. Hospital admissions continued to increase, with rates highest among over-85s and in the North-west.

More than 10,000 sufferers are in hospitals, including more than 900 in mechanical ventilation beds. A further 23,065 cases and 280 deaths were confirmed yesterday.

Medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said: “Sadly, the number of Covid-19 related deaths continue to rise but we can all play our part.

“By socially distancing, wearing a face covering and washing our hands regularly we can help to cut transmission and save lives.”

The NHS Test and Trace system remained under intense pressure as the number testing positive rose by almost a quarter in a week.

Cases increased by 23 percent to more than 126,000 in the week to October 21, the highest weekly figure since the service launched in May.

Just six in 10 close contacts who may have been exposed were reached by tracers, around the same as the previous week.

NHS Confederation director Dr Layla McCay said: “Only 60.3 percent of identified contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate, well below the 80 percent that scientists tell us is needed to make the system effective.”

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