BARNSLEY’S coronavirus infection rate is at almost triple previous peaks, according to the town’s director of public health.

The town’s infection rate is 2,580.6 per 100,000 residents - as of this morning - and other rates are also on the rise.

There are currently 79 patients in Barnsley Hospital with the virus, two of which are on ventilation beds.

More than 16,000 people took a PCR test - where a swab has to be taken to a lab - in the seven-day period ending January 7, 44.1 per cent of those people received a positive result.

The town’s director of public health Julia Burrows said: “Just like the national picture, Barnsley case rates have climbed steeply since Christmas, reaching close to triple those of previous peaks during the pandemic.

“Cases have risen in all age groups, including older adults, with current rates of infection, vaccination and hospitalisation available from the UK government Covid-19 data website.

“Due to the very high number of people with Covid-19 in Barnsley, the number in hospital who are positive for Covid-19 has also risen, as experienced across the country.

“However, with the very good vaccine uptake in Barnsley, including for the booster dose, we are seeing a lower proportion of cases with severe Covid illness needing hospital treatment compared to before the vaccine was available, particularly in those who are fully vaccinated with three doses.”