FORTY-eight people tested positive for coronavirus in the BCP Council area in seven days.

Latest data released by Public Health Dorset shows 48 confirmed cases in the local authority for the seven days between September 16 and 22.

The Dorset Council area reported 18 cases for the same period.

The number of cases has increased from 38 in the BCP Council area and 17 in the Dorset Council area the previous week.

The rates per 100,000 of the population are 15.7 for the BCP Council area and 5.6 for Dorset.

These are down from 21.0 and 8.2 respectively the previous week. 

These rates remain below the average of 20.4 in the south west and 38.1 for England.

On the overall picture in Dorset, the health watchdog said: “In line with the national trend, our data shows that cases have been rising in both the Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas.

"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.”

Residents have been urged to continue to follow health measures to help to the slow of the virus.

On schools, Public Health Dorset said: “We are aware of a number of cases associated with schools in Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and we have been working closely with the affected schools and Public Health England South West to ensure any necessary measures are taken.

"Affected schools have communicated directly with parents and carers regarding any changes to school provision. Any close contacts of cases have been contacted and advised to self-isolate. Members of the school community do not need to self-isolate and should not get tested unless specifically directed to do so.”

Public Health Dorset said there continues to be a number of care homes with positive cases identified through routine whole care home testing.

It added: “These are 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.”

As students return to university, Public Health Dorset said it continues to work with universities, colleges and Public Health England South West to “prevent, identify and respond to any outbreaks associated with university settings”.

It added: “We are assured that the universities have implemented necessary measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus to students and the wider public.”