IT APPEARS that the rise in Covid cases and subsequent hospitalisation in Ayrshire might have peaked as statistics relating to both are down on the previous week.

Scottish Government figures show that there were 153 patients in Ayrshire. hospitals yesterday with a Covid-related illness. That’s down from 168 the previous week.

And on positive test results in North Ayrshire, there were 2,258 between March 19-25, that compares favourably with 2,876 between March 12-18 that we reported last week.

However, despite the decreasing weekly totals, North Ayrshire remains the fourth worst-affected council area in the country, with a seven-day rate per 100,000 of population of 1,681.9.

And Covid deaths in Ayrshire are at a 19-week high according to data from the National Records of Scotland.

Figures show that there were 15 deaths in Ayrshire between March 14-20 where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Five of those who died were from North Ayrshire.

On vaccinations, 92.6 per cent of all those aged 12 and above in North Ayrshire have received at least a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, 87.7 per cent have had two, and 74 per cent have had three.

The legal requirement to wear face coverings on public transport and most indoor public settings in Scotland is set to remain until at least early April due to the recent spike in Covid case numbers.

Free Covid tests will remain available in Scotland until the end of April, although the rules around who should test, and when, will change.

From 1 May:

people with symptoms will no longer need to test instead they will be advised to stay at home until they feel better physical test sites will close and contact tracing will end