THE number of recorded Covid-19cases in Essex jumped by 531 over the weekend, official figures reveal.

Public Health England statistics show 9,718 people had been confirmed as testing positive for the coronavirus by 9am today (October 19) in the county, up from 9,187 the same time on Friday.

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.

The rate of infection in Essex now stands at 653 cases per 100,000 people.

This is far lower than the England average of 1,118.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 51,955 over the period to 741,212.

Essex's cases were among the 42,126 recorded across the East of England, a figure which rose by 2,168 over the period.

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