MEASURES to combat a 'rapid rise' in Covid cases in Cumbria are being discussed with the Government. 

County leaders have put forward the possibility of Cumbria becoming an area of 'enhanced support' following a dramatic increase in cases over the last few weeks.

Cumbria's director of public health, Colin Cox, said the county's infection rate was now seven times the level it was at the end of May.

The infection rate has jumped from seven per 100,000 to 50 after the Delta variant, previously known as the Indian variant, reached Cumbria.

And Mr Cox said a number of proposals were being discussed with the Government and other regional leaders to arrest the rise in positive cases.

He revealed that making Cumbria an area of enhanced support was one of the options being considered.

It would mean the area could benefit from additional testing and analysis, as well as closer monitoring from central government.

Mr Cox said: "We're trying to take action to tackle the Delta variant.

"We're talking to national government and becoming an area of enhanced support is one a number of things being discussed.

"There are plenty of things we might be able to do."

The health boss said the county was looking at promoting better uptake in testing and implementing 'surge vaccination', targeting younger and unvaccinated adults in areas with high prevalence or rapidly growing outbreaks of the more transmissible Delta variant.

Mr Cox also said one option was to spread the message to potential visitors to Cumbria about getting tested.

"There is a lot of concern about number of visitors to Cumbria but we're not seeing a lot of transmission," he said.

The health director also urge to stick to guidance on social distancing to stop the spread of the virus.

"Be wary that this is spreading and that cases are rising," he said.

There were 178 positive tests across Cumbria in the seven days to June 10, a nearly 150 per cent rise from the previous week.