THE number of coronavirus cases in Shropshire increased by 286 in the last 24 hours, official figures show – with three more deaths were recorded.

A total of 80,653 cases had been confirmed in Shropshire when the UK coronavirus daily dashboard was updated on March 8 (Tuesday), up from 80,367 on Monday.

The cumulative rate of infection in Shropshire, which covers the whole pandemic, stands at 24,785 cases per 100,000 people, far lower than the England average of 28,863.

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, if one person tests positive for the virus more than 90 days after the first infection, two infection episodes will be recorded, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 61,713 over the period, to 19,307,014.

There were also three more coronavirus deaths recorded in the latest 24-hour period in Shropshire.

The dashboard shows 729 people had died in the area by Tuesday, March 8 – up from 726 on Monday.

It means there have been five deaths in the past week, which is an increase on two the previous week.

They were among 16,837 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.

The figures also show that nearly three-quarters of people in Shropshire have received a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The latest figures show 211,845 people had received a booster or third dose by Monday, March 7 – 72 per cent of those aged 12 and over, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database.

A total of 252,019 people (86 per cent) had received two jabs by that date.

Across England, 66 per cent of people aged 12 and above had received a booster.

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