MORE than 40 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed across Essex over the weekend.

In the Essex County Council area, there were 32 new cases recorded, alongside four in Southend and five in Thurrock.

Across the Essex County Council area, 5,821 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am yesterday, up from 5,789 the same time on Friday.

In Southend, a total of 725 cases have been confirmed as of 7am yesterday, up from 721 on Friday.

The data does not show how many cases remain active in the community.

Public Health England, which measures the virulence of Covid-19, is now including Pillar 2 tests – those carried out by commercial partners – alongside Pillar 1 tests, which are analysed in NHS or PHE laboratories and which made up the first stage of the Government’s mass testing programme.

It comes as a further 2 people, who tested positive for the coronavirus died in hospitals in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in that setting to 29,460.

Patients were aged between 81 and 86 years old. Both had known underlying health conditions.

Neither death was recorded in the east of England, with one in the Southend East and one in North East and Yorkshire.