BARROW and Furness has one of the lowest coronavirus rates of infection in the North West.

According to data published by Public Health England, Liverpool and Barrow were the two areas in the North West with the lowest rates of infection, with just ten cases per 100,000.

Hyndburn in Lancashire was one of the highest infection rates in the North West region, which saw a 300 per cent increase in a week to 153 cases per 100,000.

Cumbria's director of public health Colin Cox has welcomed the fall in infection rates as 'really positive news'.

He said: “We must have one of the lowest rates in the country at the moment as Cumbria as a whole is at about five cases per 100,000 per week and all districts are below 10 in 100,000.

“This is really positive news, and we are showing now signs of impact from the restrictions easing on April 12 as rates have been falling since then.

“We have had a couple of workplace breakouts, but local systems are managing effectively.”

Cumbria has recorded levels of Covid-19 not seen since August and about three quarters of the eligible population have had their first vaccination dose.

Mr Cox has warned that Cumbria needs to keep coronavirus cases low to avoid more variations emerging as the vaccination process rolls on.

“If we come out of lockdown, we do it carefully," he said.

“As we’re doing a vaccination programme, if we have lots of transmissions of the virus at the same time, that’s where new variants crop up.

“People need to be able to see that the people telling them to do it are themselves doing it.

“Communication is a crucial part of responding to a pandemic.

"I think it’s been really important that people in public health are able to get the word out.”

In the seven days prior to April 30, there were seven recorded cases of Covid-19 in Barrow, giving the area a weekly rolling rate of 10.4 per 100,000.

In the same week, South Lakeland had 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which gave the area a weekly rolling rate of 14.3 per 100,000.

Public Health England figures show that 28,210 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Wednesday in Cumbria, up from 28,209 the same time on Tuesday.

The rate of infection in Cumbria now stands at 5,642 cases per 100,000 people, lower than the England average of 6,870.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 2,144 over the period, to 4,425,940.

Cumbria's cases were among the 608,255 recorded across the North West.