THERE has been a slight increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Dorset, official figures for the county have shown.

But experts have issued reassurances that the rates remain “very, very low” which is “good news”.

Public Health Dorset have issued a weekly update on the county’s situation for both council areas – BCP and Dorset.

While the risk of a second peak remains low, they say, the number of confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 in the BCP Council area, is recorded as 10 during the week of August 5 and August 11.

The week before – July 28 to August 3 - there were just two. It means case rates – recorded per 100,000 of the population – have risen from 1.8 to 2.5.

This is still low in comparison to the south west as a whole, which is 5, and England where case rates are 7.8.

In the Dorset Council area, there are now 11 positive Covid-19 cases. The previous period of July 28 to August 3 saw six recorded cases in the local authority patch.

The case rate has increased slightly from 1.3 in the week of July 24-July 30 to 2.9 this week.

There are also a very small number of care homes with positive coronavirus cases in the county, but a spokesperson for Public Health England said they are “being monitored closely and are all currently under control.”

They added: “A local care home visiting policy has been developed. The current assessment is that due to the low number of cases and transmission in the area, it is safe for care homes in Dorset to resume visits providing national guidance is adhered to.”

Rachel Partridge, the assistant director for Public Health in Dorset said: “The good news is that our infection rates and cases remain low in the past seven days.

“These are really good low infection rates of 2.5 in BCP and 2.9 in Dorset.

It’s also really good to see that numbers of people getting tested have increased which show that people are rapidly accessing testing if they’re having symptoms.

“Thankfully the positivity rate remains very, very low.”

Referring to the new rules about face coverings in indoor spaces, Ms Partridge added: “It’s really important that face coverings are worn if possible.

“What’s important is that the masks are worn correctly and that includes covering your nose and your chin. And it’s really important it is fixed behind your ears or behind your head and that there are no gaps.

“The other thing is that we really wouldn’t want young children under the age of three to be wearing masks as it could be a choking hazard.”