The number of recorded coronavirus cases in Essex increased by 443 over the last 24 hours, official figures show.

Public Health England figures show that 12,711 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Wednesday (October 21) in Essex, up from 12,268 the same time on Tuesday.

Of these there were 32 new cases in Southend, 61 new cases in Thurrock and 350 in the Essex County Council area.

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 693 cases per 100,000 people, far lower than the England average of 1,190.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 26,687 over the period to 789,229.

Essex's cases were among the 44,222 recorded across the East of England, a figure which rose by 1,349 over the period.

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