The number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus has jumped by a quarter in England in a day.
There were 478 people admitted to hospital on Sunday – the largest daily figure since early June – up from 386.
Nearly 2,800 patients are in hospital with Covid in England, compared with over 17,000 at the epidemic’s peak.
There were no admissions in Northern Ireland, while the data for Scotland is not yet available for Sunday, and Wales counts cases differently.
More than two-thirds of the new admissions in England (334) were in the North West, North East and Yorkshire, according to the government’s coronavirus dashboard.
As always, we should be cautious about reading too much into one day’s change.
But of all the measurements of Covid, hospital admissions are perhaps the most reliable and they had been rising quite gradually before the jump on Sunday.
Sadly, we should expect cases to continue rising.
This is the time of year when emergency admissions for respiratory illness do go up.
In a normal year, we can expect 1,000 admissions a day for flu and respiratory viruses by December.
What we don’t know is to what extent the normal illnesses are adding to this Covid total.
These new admissions mean about 3% of hospital beds are now occupied with Covid patients.
There are reports that hospitals, particularly in northern England, are very busy.
But elsewhere beds are free. The reduction in other services, from cancer care to routine operations, means bed occupancy levels are about a quarter lower than normal.
However, unions would point out that a shortage of staff means there are not always the doctors and nurses available to care for patients.
The government’s latest figures show a total of 2,783 Covid-19 patients were in England’s hospitals overnight on Monday – the highest daily total since 25 June.
And 478 new patients were admitted to hospital – the highest daily figure since 3 June.