THE number of Covid-19 cases in Shropshire increased by 80 per cent during the seven days to April 22 after an outbreak at a Welsh factory.

The spike saw 54 new cases reported, an increase of 24 from the previous week, making the seven-day infection rate 16.7 cases per 100,000 people.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, confirmed the increase is related to the outbreak at a factory in Bala earlier this month.

She said: “We have seen an increase in cases in Shropshire, linked to an outbreak at a factory in Bala, and we do expect there will be more cases as the programme of screening and testing continues.

“It is an important reminder that coronavirus is still circulating in our communities and we need to keep doing what we have been doing – use a Lateral Flow Test twice a week, ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’, and take up the vaccination offer when it becomes available.”

Two beds at the county’s acute hospitals were taken up by Covid-19 patients during the time period.

There were no Covid-related deaths reported in Shropshire’s hospitals during the week.