Health experts in Dorset say care homes are being 'closely monitored' after further reported cases of coronavirus in the county.

Visits to care homes in the county can continue in the main, but this will be reviewed at the Health Protection Board next week.

In their weekly update for residents, Public Health Dorset said cases have been rising in both the Dorset Council and BCP Council areas 'in line with the national trend'.

A spokesperson said: "On top of an overall gradual increase BCP has seen a shorter more rapid increase, which latest case numbers suggest is showing signs of dropping back down.

"We continue to monitor all our data to confirm if this is a temporary change. We are reinforcing our public information messaging, reminding residents to continue to follow public health measures in order to prevent further transmission. We have local outbreak management plans in place and work with local partners to identify confirmed cases in settings that may need to take additional action.

We, along with partners have launched our 'Do It For' campaign, encouraging residents to keep sticking to the public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

In the past week 9-15 September, there have been 38 cases in the BCP area, with 17 in the Dorset area.

This compares to the previous week where there were 57 in BCP and 37 in Dorset.

Case rates for the week September 5 to September 11 for BCP were 21 per 100,000 of the population. In England the rate is 34.1, but the south west region is 10.4. Last week the case rate for BCP was 12.9.

In Dorset the case rate is 8.2 per 100,00 of the population. Last week it was 8.

On care homes, the spokesperson said: "There has been a further increase in the number of care homes with positive cases identified through routine whole care home testing.

"These continue to be monitored closely working with partners in adult social care, NHS Dorset CCG and the care homes themselves to ensure all necessary measures are being taken.

"A local care home visiting policy is in place. This was reviewed alongside our local picture at our Health Protection Board earlier this week.

"The board asked care homes to review their own visiting policies, ensuring they continue to follow best practice guidance, but felt that on balance visits to care homes could continue. This will be reviewed again at the board next week."

Day services may also remain open in line with national guidance and risk assessment, with a further review next week.

On universities, Public Health Dorset say they have been working closely with the organisations to "ensure measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission as students return to university."