A health expert insists a recent spike in coronavirus cases in Braintree is "nothing to be concerned about". 

Essex County Council says the surge in cases seen on July 8 and 9 came as a result of an outbreak in a care home. 

A total of 26 positive tests were carried out across the two days and another four on July 10.

It means the district now has the 16th highest infection rate in England.

In response to the sharp rise, County Hall's director of public health, Dr Mike Gogarty, has sought to reassure residents. 

In a statement, he said: "The increase in Covid-19 positive cases in Braintree is nothing to be concerned about.

"As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, and progress with the test and trace programme we will see spikes in cases in particular locations.

"The increase in positive cases in Braintree over recent days is largely explained by an outbreak in a local care home. We have contained this outbreak working through established processes

"Following identification of a very small number of individuals showing symptoms widespread testing of staff and residents was undertaken in line with current policy.

"Further cases were confirmed through this testing, the majority of these are showing no symptoms and feeling well.

"We have been made aware of this case and the Essex contract tracing team, alongside colleagues from Public Health England and our newly established care home hub to ensure all contacts of cases are identified and advised accordingly and to ensure optimal infection control measures within the home.

"I would like to remind people that the best way to reduce the spread of the virus and protect ourselves and our loved ones is to follow social distancing measures ideally 2m, ensure regular handwashing and to book a test and self-isolate if you are experiencing symptoms which include a temperature, cough or change in taste or smell."