HEALTH officials have called on Dorset residents to ‘redouble their efforts’ in a bid to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

It comes after a “significant increase” in the number of cases in the county, particularly across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area.

Public Health Dorset said while the increase is in line with the regional average, it is still “significantly below" the England average and the numbers seen in the north east and north west.

In a weekly video update from Public Health Dorset, assistant director Rachel Partridge said the public health service, which supports Dorset and BCP Councils, was “absolutely imploring” people to self-isolate if they were identified as a close contact of a positive case.

Ms Partridge said: "If you are identified as a close contact of a positive case, we are absolutely imploring you to also self-isolate for the required period of time.

“It’s really important that we take this opportunity to really redouble our efforts and prevent further transmission in our area.”

Speaking about the recent rise in cases, Ms Partridge said: “We understand that some of that increase has been due to the national data issue where we had additional cases added from previous weeks. However, there is no doubt that we are seeing an increased number of situations related to Covid-19 in our area."

People have been reminded to continue to observe social distancing, limit contact with others, adhere to the ‘rule of six’ and of the importance of hand hygiene. 

Anyone with symptoms is being urged to self-isolate and get tested "immediately". 

Meanwhile, welfare checks are being carried out on people who have confirmed cases and are self-isolating with telephone support being provided. 

Between September 28 and October 4, the BCP Council area recorded 265 cases and the Dorset Council area recorded 93 cases. These figures were up from 78 and 29, respectively, for the previous week.