THE number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has risen for the first time since the weekend.

Public Health England figures show that 891 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, up from 889 the same time on Tuesday.

It is the first rise in the figure since Sunday.

The health body 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.

The rate of infection in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly now stands at 157 cases per 100,000 people, far lower than the England average of 441.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 630 over the period, to 286,979.

Thursday's NHS England figures show that the number of deaths in hospitals due to coronavirus has remained static at 91, a total that has not risen for a week.

However, the NHS totals only cover deaths in hospitals. The Office for National Statistics has been collating data for hospitals, care homes and the wider community and its latest update on Tuesday confirmed that the total of deaths for Cornwall has risen by one on a week previous to 205.

Across England a further 22 people who tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 28,991.

Patients were aged between 53 and 94 years old. One patient, aged 77 years old, had no known underlying health conditions, NHS England said.

Their families have been informed.

There were no further deaths across the south west as a whole.

In today's coronavirus news:

Holidaymakers have been told that the Government’s VAT cut for the hospitality sector is aimed to help businesses not reduce the cost for tourists.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday in his mini budget that he was cutting VAT from 20 per cent to five per cent for hospitality and tourism businesses.

Read the full story here.

Transport giant FirstGroup, which operates trains and buses in Cornwall, says that there is 'uncertainty' about its ability to continue operating due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group, which runs GWR trains and First buses in Cornwall, has seen shares tumble after flagging doubts over its future amid the coronavirus pandemic as passenger numbers plunged and it slumped to a £300 million loss.

Read the full story here.

Falmouth Art Gallery and its library have reopened

In order to keep everyone as safe as possible they are reopening gradually, with things looking a bit different for a while.

Read the full story here.

More than half of startups and growing businesses in Cornwall are at risk of failing due to the coronavirus crisis, new research shows.

That is according to a study of almost 30,000 new and growing businesses in the UK by analyst Beauhurst, which has warned any national financial recovery will be impeded if these "economic powerhouse" firms are not targeted with support.

Read the full story here.