Keep proper journalism alive. It's time to Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Bristol Covid cases stabilise but hospital admissions still on the rise as lockdown begins

The one thing you need to read this week about Covid-19 in Bristol


Cases of coronavirus in Bristol have stabilised following weeks of sharp increases, but patients being admitted to hospital have continued to rise.

Bristol’s infection rate remains high at 382.8 per 100k people, as 1,774 people tested positive in the seven days up to 1st November, but this was only slightly higher than the previous week.

However, Bristol’s NHS remains under considerable pressure as the number of people going into hospital with Covid-19 has continued to rise across the city’s two NHS Trusts.

Bristol’s infection rate puts it in the 20% worst affected local authorities in England. This lockdown is vital to avoid overwhelming the local NHS, as a recently leaked government report modelled the South West to be one of the first regions to be overwhelmed without a lockdown.

As lockdown has now begun, the number of positive cases and hospital admissions are expected to fall, but it takes a few weeks for the impact of stricter measures to be seen in the data.

Read below for the lowdown of how Covid-19 is impacting Bristol, as the city goes into Lockdown 2.

The latest data

NHS under pressure

? The number of patients with Covid in North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs Southmead hospital, has almost doubled in the last week, rising to 83. Over the same period, numbers increased by 25% to 51 at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Foundation NHS Trust (UHBW), which runs the BRI and Weston General Hospital.

? This means the number of Covid patients in North Bristol NHS Trust has reached 77% of the peak reached in April of 108, while the current occupancy levels at UHBW are nearly 55% of the April peak of 93.

⚠️ The South West is one of the regions which would run out of hospital capacity first, according to leaked government modelling. The modelling projected that on 28 October, without a lockdown NHS capacity in the South West would be exceeded within two weeks, and surge capacity exceeded two weeks later, including using Nightingale capacity. The next steps would be cancelling non-urgent elective operations and reducing non-Covid bed occupancy, which would have given the local system another month.

Want this sent to your inbox every week? Sign up here

? Bristol’s hospitals are currently experiencing high levels of demand as Covid admissions rise, according to the local CCG. A spokesperson for the Bristol Nightingale told the Cable that the temporary hospital remained on standby and whether it will take critically ill patients was under constant review.

✋ Both Bristol NHS trusts this week have suspended visiting at local hospitals in response to rising infections, and called for the public to do their bit by using the most appropriate service for their needs, avoiding A&E except for genuine life threatening emergencies, and supporting family members to return home as soon as possible. 

? Despite Bristol’s high infection rate and hospital admissions, deaths are low, but increasing. 10 people have died across Bristol’s two NHS trusts in the last two weeks, compared with three in the previous fortnight. Meanwhile there were two deaths in the city’s care homes in the last two weeks.

How Bristol is responding

? Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has urged Covid-weary residents to pull together and fight the virus during lockdown. He said he knows people are tired of following rules, and scared of what might happen next, but if people remember how the virus spreads – and do what’s needed to halt that spread – the quicker we will get through the pandemic.

? A new drive-though testing centre has been set up at Brislington Park and Ride in response to rising infection levels. This is an addition to other central testing facilities in the city, including the Victoria Rooms and Netham Park.

The first Covid marshals were on Bristol’s streets yesterday encouraging people to follow the rules. They will be deployed onto buses and at bus stops following complaints people are flouting coronavirus rules and abusing public transport employees and shop workers. While the Covid marshals have no enforcement powers, they can report breaches of the rules. They can also signpost government guidance, clean touchpoints, hand out face coverings and hand sanitiser, manage one-way systems and queuing systems, prevent mixing in busy nightlife areas, and remind people to wear face coverings. 

? Bristol Food Union will restart its emergency food provision next week. The collective of restaurants and food businesses are fundraising to make meals for the National Food Service and getting Christmas hampers to families in need.

Breaking the rules

? The organiser of a rave in Yate attended by 700 people has been fined the maximum amount of £10,000 for breaching coronavirus restrictions. When police tried to shut down the Halloween event last Saturday they were pelted with bottles, with some officers suffering minor injuries. In total eight people, aged between 17 and 33, have been arrested in relation to the violence at the rave.

? A tattoo parlour on Gloucester Road is under investigation for breaking coronavirus rules after staying open on Thursday. Aron Walton, owner of Holey Skin in Bishopston, has been an outspoken critic of lockdown, and Bristol Live previously revealed that his parlour remained open when he ignored NHS Test and Trace instructions to self isolate after a holiday in Zante in September. 

? The owner of the Jack of Diamonds on West Street in Bedminster has been fined £10,000 after dozens of people were found inside the venue last week, less than a week after they had already been fined for staying open past 10pm and ordered to close.

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?


Report a comment. Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy.

  • This was a well researched and informative article, but whether by accident or design, I felt in one small respect, it strayed into becoming an editorial. It stated: This lockdown is vital to avoid overwhelming the local NHS, as a recently leaked government report modelled the South West to be one of the first regions to be overwhelmed without a lockdown. Having not read this website before, I am not sure if it has opinions or simply reports facts. Is it the government or The Bristol Cable that thinks lockdown is vital? If it is that the former, then more careful wording should have been chosen to avoid confusion.


  • 1: You neglected to say that a police dog tore into a woman at the rave and she needed reconstructive surgery.
    2: Bristol would logically be one of the areas where deaths are comparatively high in this second ripple because it was relatively spared the contagion last time, according to Mike Yeadon of Pfizer, nevertheless the death rate remains low (even though covid-19 and flu deaths have been conflated to reach that number) Covid-19 is effectively over, according to Yeadon and others.


Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Watch: Why you should back the Cable – in 60 seconds

A breakdown of all the things we've managed to achieve for Bristol in almost a decade of reporting.

We’re working to diversify the Cable team. Let’s start with our freelancer base

The Cable exists to challenge the structure of the media, but we are not representative enough of our city. Here’s what we’re doing to change things.

‘We can move the dial’: can Massive Attack set a new benchmark for low-carbon live music?

The legendary Bristol band have announced a huge hometown show for 2024. But will the eco-friendly event provide a model for a more climate-conscious live music industry?

Whistleblowers reveal institutional racism at local NHS trust

A Cable investigation spanning months has uncovered that complaints of institutional racism at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust went unheard, despite promises from management to tackle the issue.

Listen: The Debrief, as seven Palestine Action activists are found guilty of criminal damage to Bristol’s ‘murder factory’

Cable journalists discuss covering the recent 'Elbit seven' trial, which brought into sharp focus a Bristol-based arms manufacturer’s role in supplying Israel’s war in Gaza.

Bristol councillors vote down Marvin Rees’ final budget after bad-tempered debate

The Greens came under fire for voting against Labour’s plans without providing alternative solutions. With councils going bankrupt elsewhere in the country, the stakes are high as Bristol prepares to ditch its mayoral system.

Bristol rogue trader slapped with criminal order after victims built dossier to expose him

Lewis Thomas, who operated anonymous carpentry businesses on social media, has six months to pay back £5,000 after pleading guilty to fraudulent practices.

High Court judge refuses to rule on whether Bristol Uni owed duty of care to student

The University of Bristol has lost its appeal in the discrimination case of Natasha Abrahart, who took her own life in 2018, but the case could have had more far reaching implications.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning