A recent spike in Covid cases in Minchinhampton and Amberley, and in the Stroud district numbers, were due to two specific outbreaks, Gloucestershire's health chief has said.

Up until recently, Minchinhampton and Amberley (which are grouped together in terms of cornavirus stats) had been consistently declared a ‘Covid free’ zone, with less than three cases recorded there each week.

But then in the period leading up to February 13, the area was noted as having the second highest infection rate in Gloucestershire, after 14 cases were found in the space of a week.

Sarah Scott, executive director of adult social care and public health at Gloucestershire County Council, says that the rise in cases were the result of two small outbreaks in a care and education setting.

She said: “The figures for Minchinhampton & Amberley and Stroud are driven by two small, known and controlled outbreaks in a care and education setting.

“Outbreaks in a smaller area can cause a sudden rise in cases there so we advise looking at the trend over time.

"There is nothing that causes concern about community transmission in these areas so we would urge everyone to follow the guidance to save lives and help to continue reducing the number of cases across the county.”

Community transmission may have also contributed to the higher Stroud district rate at that time, but health chiefs have no concerns in the area and the current rate is now comparable with other districts and lower than the South West average.