Covid-19 cases are still rising in Barrow and South Cumbria - with health bosses and politicians issuing fresh pleas for people to stick to the new rules.

Case numbers are going 'in the wrong direction' according to the region's health chiefs, and the number of cases in Barrow are above the national average.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases have continued to rise across the county according to the latest data published today. 105 new cases were recorded in the week ending 18 September, up from 82 cases the previous week.

For the third week running Barrow had the highest number of new cases of all Cumbrian districts, with 38.

Barrow’s infection rate continues to be well above the national average with 57 cases per 100,000 compared to 35 per 100,000 for the whole of England.

The town’s MP , Simon Fell, has urged residents to stick to the new rules. As part of his renewed plea to Barrovians this week, he said: ‘If we stick together we can get the rate of cases down’.

In Barrow the advice that groups of six should be limited to people from no more than two households remains in place and will be reviewed next week.

The additional restrictions on hospital, care home and school visitors also remain.

However, with the exception of Barrow, the number of new cases being reported in the county continues to be significantly below other areas in the north west.

New cases continue to be most common in the 15 to 29 years age group, but with increasing evidence of spread amongst older age groups.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health, has also asked Barrow residents to do as much as they can to adhere to the new guidance and limit social contact ‘wherever possible’.

Mr Cox explained: “While we are behind other areas in the north west which is a good thing, the numbers are all heading in the wrong direction and that is of real concern.

“The Government has introduced new measures this week to try and stem the increase, but it remains to be seen whether they will have any impact. It remains the case that wearing a face covering, washing hands and maintaining social distancing are the key things we should all be doing.

“Last week for Barrow we issued strong guidance to local people about mixing between households, that remains in place and we will formally review it next week. Generally for the whole of the county, if people can take steps to limit their social contact that will help slow the spread of infection. We know its not what people want, but acting now could help us avoid formal restrictions being imposed.

“I’d also like to repeat my call for people to download the new NHS Test & Trace App that was launched today. The more people using it, the more effective it will be in helping control the virus.”