PEOPLE across Cumbria are being urged to continue social distancing - though the latest Covid-19 figures show a continuing slow down in hospital deaths.

At The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, the number of coronavirus fatalities stands at 147, with no deaths formally reported by either hospital for more than two weeks.

The two hospitals are run by North Cumbria Integrated Care Foundation Trust.

In south Cumbria, the Covid-19 death toll is currently 164.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, which runs Furness General Hospital, Westmorland General Hospital, and Lancaster Royal Infirmary, has reported two coronavirus deaths in the last seven days.

In Cumbria's care homes, the number of coronavirus fatalities is believed to be 215.

Of these, 115 are confirmed and the remainder are 'suspected' because experts consider they are likely to be linked to or caused by Covid-19.

A further seven coronavirus deaths have been reported by the North East based NHS trust which runs Carlisle's Carleton Clinic, though where those patients were being treated has not been revealed.

Commenting today, Cumbria's Public Health Director Colin Cox said: "We need to be stringent in maintaining social distancing measures as the virus is still circulating and still out there.

"It could come roaring back."

The latest data shows a steady drop in death rates from coronavirus, both in Cumbria and national.

But the national death toll yesterday rose to above 40,000 - a grim milestone.

The Office for National Statistics also revealed that in the north west of England the so-called R rate - a measure for how quickly the virus is being passed one from one person to others in the community - was just above 1.

The R stands for “effective reproduction number”.If the R rate of a disease is one, then on average every person infected with it will go on to infect one more person. If the R is higher than 1 then that means that the disease will keep on spreading to more and more people.