MORE than 400 people have been diagnosed with coronavrius in the Braintree district, new figures have shown.

The Government updated the numbers last week which saw the number of confirmed cases rise from 250 to 420 in the space of a week.

The update meant tests carried out in the wider community, known as pillar 2, were included for the first time.

These are tests which have been done using a home testing kit or at a drive-through centre.

Previously only laboratory tests had been counted.

It means across Essex there have now been 6,496 positive cases - up from the 4,278 previously reported.

Meanwhile the latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows 112 people in the district have died after contracting Covid-19.

It comes as Essex County Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council launched their local contact tracing service.

The Essex and Southend Contact Tracing Service is one of the first local systems launched by any authority areas in the country.

However, both Essex and Southend’s public health chiefs have warned vigilance is still needed.

Director for Public Health at Essex County Council, Dr Mike Gogarty said: “ We are very proud to launch our local track and trace system but we aren’t out of the woods yet and I want to make it clear that we should all be doing everything we can to limit further spread of infection.

“This means sticking to the current social distancing advice at 2m wherever possible, self-isolating when informed to do so, strictly keeping to ‘bubbles’, washing hands regularly and maintaining everyone’s hard work over the past three months.”