THE number of recorded coronavirus cases in Essex has increased by 16 over the last 24 hours.

Official figures from Public Health England now shows that a total of 5,580 people in the county had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Thursday.

The health body is now including Pillar 2 tests – those carried out by commercial partners – alongside Pillar 1 tests, which are analysed in NHS or PHE laboratories and which made up the first stage of the Government's mass testing programme.

Fortunately, the rate of infection in Essex is far lower than that of the national average.

Essex's rate of infection now stands at 378 cases per 100,000 people compared to England's average of 457.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 769 over the period, to 297,146.

Essex's cases were among the 24,337 recorded across the East of England, a figure which rose by 66 over the period.

Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, have recovered and those that have died.