New cases of coronavirus have been recorded in some care homes in Cumbria among both staff and residents.

A number of residents and staff members have tested positive for Covid-19, according to Cumbria County Council's Director of Public Health, Colin Cox.

Mr Cox said positive cases are to be 'expected' as lockdown restrictions begin to ease nationwide.

He said: "As part of our ongoing response to COVID we are carefully monitoring any increase in cases and that includes any changes in Cumbria’s care homes.

"Following a programme of recent testing we can confirm that there are now a small number of residents and staff who have tested positive.

"As lockdown restrictions ease we would expect to see this and we want to reassure the public that we are doing all we can to protect residents and staff."

Mr Cox said Cumbria County Council is 'carefully monitoring the situation' to keep the infection rates within care homes to a minimum.

He said: "All care homes have stringent approaches in place to cleaning, PPE and social distancing.

"We are carefully monitoring the situation and we are hopeful that through careful hygiene and effective test and trace we can keep the number of incidents affecting care homes to a minimum.”

Nearly 30 care homes across Cumbria - about 20 per cent of the 153 county total of homes - reported confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases at the peak of the virus in mid-April.

Concerns were raised around lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being supplied to care homes whilst infection rates were at their peak three months ago.

One Barrow care home worker said at the time that Covid-19 was 'running wild' in care homes and 'no one knows the true extent'.

They said: “This situation is unlike anything anyone’s ever experienced before and there’s no training that can prepare you for what we’re going through.

COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales have fallen to a four-month low, according to the ONS.

In its latest release covering the week ending July 24, the ONS reported that the number of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England and Wales fell by almost a quarter on the previous week to 69, the lowest recorded number since the end of March.

According to ONS figures, there was 77 coronavirus-related deaths in Cumbria in July. At the peak of the virus, there were 273 deaths recorded in the county between April 15 and May 15.