CLINICALLY extremely vulnerable people in the Dudley borough have been advised to shield again as Covid-19 infection rates remain "alarmingly high".

People in this group are urged to stay at home as much as possible, only leave the house for exercise and health appointments, avoid busy areas and keep contact with others outside of their household to a minimum during this latest national lockdown.

The advice comes as the infection rate in Dudley remains worryingly high.

Official figures, published on Dudley's Covid-19 dashboard today (Monday January 18), show the infection rate currently stands at 638.4 cases per 100,000 people, with 2,053 cases of the virus confirmed in the last seven days.

Meanwhile, data from NHS England reveals Russells Hall Hospital was caring for 187 patients with Covid-19 on January 12 (the latest date figures are available for), 21 of whom were on ventilators.

The hospital, run by the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, has between 20 and 25 adult intensive care beds, according to NHS data.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, Dudley Council's cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "Unfortunately, we continue to see alarmingly high figures of positive Covid-19 tests here in Dudley borough and we know the real figure of new infections could be much higher than the test rates reveal.

"It is incredibly hard to ask residents to shield and we recognise all too well the strain this can take on individuals, but I must ask anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable to protect themselves by staying at home as much as possible.

"We should all be avoiding contact with anyone outside our household or bubble wherever possible and I would also ask that those who are less vulnerable continue to act with care and follow the lockdown restrictions.

"By working together as a community, we can help to slow the spread of the virus, save lives and protect the people we love.”

Extremely vulnerable people can continue to meet members of their support bubble and receive care at home from social care and medical professionals.

They are currently advised to work from home if possible and if they cannot they are advised not to go into the workplace.

The Government has written to all individuals who are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable and they can use the letter as evidence to not attend work, or get a shielding note at

People who are shielding are also advised not to go to shops or pharmacies, and instead are urged to use delivery services if they can, or ask others to collect and drop off shopping for them.

Anyone needing help with this can contact NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 186 3646.

People can register via to request priority access to supermarket delivery slots.

Full details of the latest guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people is available online at