Almost 100 people are being treated for Covid in Suffolk and north Essex hospitals as infection rates continue to rise throughout the region.

As of November 16, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, was treating 66 patients for the virus.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds had 28 patients on the same day.

The overall number of coronavirus patients has actually fallen by almost 20% in a week, with 76 at ESNEFT and 39 at West Suffolk Hospital respectively on November 9.

Hospital visits remain suspended as health leaders have been concerned by the increase in Covid cases in the region over the last few weeks.

Infection rates are on the rise in all of the districts in Suffolk, with the exception of Ipswich — which had the highest figure in England at one point in the middle of October.

For the week up to November 17, West Suffolk had the county's highest seven-day rate at 398.8 cases per 100,000 people.

Babergh's rate was 370.9, Mid Suffolk's was 347.1 while East Suffolk reported the county's lowest figure at 301.6.

Ipswich recorded a weekly fall in infection rate from 440.5 to 332.4.

Overall, there were 2,743 new Covid infections in Suffolk in the same timeframe — almost 400 more cases than were reported the week before.

Suffolk remains an Enhanced Response Area, meaning specialist teams have been deployed to help support work around vaccinations, communications and managing outbreaks, until the start of December.

Neill Moloney, acting chief executive of ESNEFT, said: "We have seen a slight drop in Covid-19 admissions in our hospitals, but we know how quickly that can change.

"There will be variations over the winter, so we cannot be complacent, and we must all continue to take the virus seriously.

"One thing people can do to protect themselves and others is make sure they have had two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the booster if they’re eligible.

"And I would encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet to take up the offer and get their first jab as soon as they can. Getting vaccinated and remembering the hands, face, space, fresh air safety advice in the coming weeks and months will help us to keep the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions down."

A spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said: "While the number of inpatients at our hospital changes daily, Covid-19 is still a real threat within the community.

"To help the NHS, we need residents of Suffolk to continue getting their Covid-19 vaccinations and having their booster when it’s due.

"It’s also important whilst Covid-19 infection rates are so high in the community to wear a face covering in crowded places and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water."