There have been hundreds of further cases of coronavirus reported across all north Cumbrian boroughs this week.

In Carlisle a total number of 24,095 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid, in Allerdale 21,874 people are confirmed and in Copeland 16,546 people have tested positive as of January 12th.

NHS North Cumbria Chief Nurse Jill Foster has thanked her staff for their work over a difficult festive period.

Ms Foster said: "Our staff have faced a unique set of challenges over the extended holiday period in an already busy healthcare system.

"Despite this, they have been flexible, adaptable and worked exceptionally hard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to do as much as they possibly can to maintain services locally for people in north Cumbria.

"I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone across the Trust who has made this happen. I know it hasn’t been easy; but I know how grateful our patients are to you all and I know what an enormous difference you are making to thousands of people across the county, whether in their homes or in our hospitals."

The NHS Trust has seen a large surge in Covid cases in their hospitals over the past few weeks. On December 23rd there were four people hospitalised in Cumbria but this week their are around 100 people in hospital due to coronavirus.

Although there are larger numbers of patients in hospital, some of these are ‘incidental’ cases where people have tested positive for Covid when coming into hospital for reasons not related to it.

Due to the rising number of cases there have been five recorded deaths in Allerdale this week, whilst in Carlisle and Copeland there were no deaths.

The figures include anyone who died within 28 days of a positive test result for Covid, and whose usual residence was in Allerdale.

Ms Foster added: "Although we are still under pressure, we are coping well and our absolute priority is the safety and wellbeing of patients. We have had to make some changes to a small number our planned services and we are in touch directly with any patients who are directly affected."