Tens of thousands of Covid-19 infections have been identified in Shropshire since the pandemic began, figures show, as reinfections are included in official statistics for the first time.

Since yesterday (January 31), the UK Health Security Agency has changed the way it reports coronavirus cases.

It means if one person tests positive for the virus more than 90 days after the first infection, two infection episodes will be recorded.

The change has led to a significant rise in the number of cases recorded across the UK.

A total of 72,097 cases had been confirmed in Shropshire when the UK coronavirus daily dashboard was updated on January 31 (Monday).

That was up from 67,512 on Friday, when reinfections were not included in the figures.

The rate of infection in Shropshire now stands at 22,155 cases per 100,000 people, far lower than the England average of 26,252.

Across the UK, 17,315,893 coronavirus infections have been recorded since the start of the pandemic, an increase of 981,913 compared to Friday.

People with a positive lateral flow test no longer need to take a follow-up PCR test to confirm the result unless they have coronavirus symptoms.

UK case numbers currently only include LFT results for England and Northern Ireland, with lateral flow testing data for Scotland due to be added in the coming weeks.

There was also one more coronavirus death recorded over the weekend in Shropshire.

The dashboard shows 689 people had died in the area by January 31 (Monday) – up from 688 on Friday.

It means there have been 10 deaths in the past week, which is a decrease on 13 the previous week.

They were among 16,149 deaths recorded across the West Midlands.

The figures include anyone who died within 28 days of a positive test result for Covid-19, and whose usual residence was in Shropshire.

Daily death counts are revised each day, with each case backdated to the actual date of death.

Figures reported on a Monday are likely to be lower as a result of a lag in reporting deaths over the weekend.

The figures also show that nearly nine in 10 people in Shropshire have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The latest figures show 249,166 people had received both jabs by January 30 (Sunday) – 85% of those aged 12 and over, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database.

Across England, 84% of people aged 12 and above had received a second dose of the jab.

Unlike at local level, the national rate was calculated using mid-2020 population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.