Coronavirus deaths recorded at Luton and Dunstable hospital for 'first time in weeks' as cases rise 'dramatically'

Click here: to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson

The number of people admitted to the Luton and Dunstable hospital with coronavirus is increasing, as health bosses say the town is "facing a real health crisis."

The council says the hospital has experienced Covid-related deaths for the first time in weeks, with cases "rising dramatically".

Luton has the highest infection rate in the region, despite being in the medium tier  - but the advice hasn't gone down well with some businesses.

Now the council is urging people to step up and impose their own personal higher level restictions to avoid official legal measures being introduced.

Admissions to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital are increasing Credit: ITV Anglia

The area has cases above 120 per 100,000 population in the latest weekly figures from Public Health England which cover the seven days to Friday 16 October.

Hazel Simmons, Leader of Luton Council, is urging people to continue to follow the rules to prevent the town moving into a higher tier.

"If our cases continue to grow we would expect to move up to the next tier unless we can act together to slow the disease’s spread", Ms Simmons said.

"There can be little doubt that while we are currently on the medium alert level, if our cases continue to grow we would expect to move up to the next tier unless we can act together to slow the disease’s spread."

Luton's Director of Public Health has told ITV News Anglia that Tier 2 restrictions are now vital Credit: ITV Anglia

The council is asking people to try to limit meeting with people from other households.

"As half term week approaches we think it’s important to make this special effort – not least as we have all seen how quickly the disease is rapidly crossing age groups and spreading in certain parts of the country", Ms Simmons continues.

"I know the thing we most want to do is to be with our family and friends, but the harsh reality is that sacrificing opportunities to meet up now, is the best way of showing our love and care as we move into the future.

"With half term next week, I appreciate this will be especially difficult, but it is something we must all think about doing at this key moment.

"At the end of the day it is down to each and every one of us to protect Luton and save lives."