The "widespread transmission" of Covid-19 across the Carlisle and Eden areas does not appear to have taken place, authorities say, as the latest figures suggest "good news" following several weeks of a concerning rise in new cases.

A reduction in the number of new Covid-19 cases has been seen by Cumbria's Health Protection Board, which has been hailed by Cumbria's public health director Colin Cox as "good news" following several weeks of serious concern among authorities over a rise in the number of new cases, first in Carlisle and then in Eden.

The latest weekly report on the Covid-19 situation in Cumbria, released this afternoon, shows that 41 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified across Cumbria, down from the previous week's report, which revealed 55 new cases had been identified.

Despite a very high number of people being tested following recent outbreaks in Carlisle and Eden, both districts also saw a reduction in the number of new cases.

The number of new positive cases in Carlisle and Eden is higher than other areas in Cumbria.

The rate of cases per 100,000 in Eden remains high compared to the rest of Cumbria, but not compared to other areas of concern in the North West.

Other districts in the county continue to experience very low levels of new infections.

The local multi-agency Health Protection Board is continuing to closely monitoring the situation and is proactively contact tracing known cases.

In the last week local contact tracing teams have been involved in 32 incidents, tracing 137 contacts.

There is no change to the local public health advice.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “The numbers of new cases in Carlisle and Eden were a concern.

"That’s why we are extremely grateful to everyone who followed our advice and got tested.

"What we can now see, from the low number of new cases identified, is that there does not appear to have been widespread transmission of the virus as a result of the visits to local pubs by people who were infectious. This is good news but we continue to monitor closely.

“It is also very clear that the virus is still circulating and being passed between local people in the community, so we must not think that the risk has gone away. Only by continued vigilance and following the basic public health guidance will we prevent the number of people being infected growing again.

“For anyone heading for a night out this weekend I’d ask you just to do the basics – social distancing as far as possible, wash your hands regularly and make sure you provide contact details to any venues you visit. If you are getting a taxi we would also advise you to wear a mask.”

The key public health messages remain:

• Wash or sanitise hands regularly

• Observe social distancing rules

• Wear face masks or coverings in enclosed public spaces

• If you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested

• Follow advice to self-isolate if asked