The total number of positive coronavirus cases in Cumbria has now surpassed 2,600 - as official figures show a jump of 353 ‘new’ cases.

Official figures on Friday included tests carried out by commercial companies (Pillar 2 tests) for the first time, alongside the usual Pillar 1 tests analysed in NHS or PHE laboratories.

Public Health England figures up to 9am on Thursday bring the total number of positive coronavirus tests in Cumbria since the start of the pandemic to 2,666.

The total rate of infection per 100,000 people in the county stands at 531 cases since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in February.

Although significantly higher than the rate of infection in England - currently 438.5 per 100,000 - Cumbria’s figure sees it sitting just outside the top 35 upper tier local authorities in England. The number of deaths are continuing to fall across the county.

At the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven - there have been only three announced deaths in the last month.

The last death announced at the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust - which runs hospitals including the Carleton Clinic in Carlisle - came on April 26.

While at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and the Furness General Hospital in Barrow - three deaths have been announced in the last month.

On Friday, the Government revealed the estimated number of people the average person with coronavirus will infect - the R rate - putting the north east and Yorkshire region at between 0.8 and 1.

In general terms, if the R rate is below one it indicates the epidemic is declining and if it is above one, the opposite is true.

No one from Public Health in Cumbria was available for comment.