THE number of recorded coronavirus cases in Dorset increased by 156 over the last 24 hours, official figures show.

Public Health England figures show that 2,898 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am yesterday in the Dorset Council area - up by 42 from 2,856 the same time on Wednesday.

There were 114 new cases recorded in the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole area taking the total to 6,516.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 22,915 over the period to 1,453,256.

Dorset's cases were among the 70,175 recorded across the South West, a figure which rose by 1,538 over the period.

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

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.