THE number of recorded coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove jumped by 274 in just one day after tests undertaken by commercial companies were included in official figures.

Public Health England figures show that 764 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Thursday (July 2) in Brighton and Hove, up from 490 the same time on Wednesday.

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.

On Friday the rate of infection in Brighton and Hove stood at 263 cases per 100,000 people, far lower than the England average of 436.

PHE has also made changes to its reporting methods, to remove any cases that may have been counted more than once.

The change means the total number of positive cases across England on Wednesday fell by 29,726, to 283,757.

Brighton and Hove’s cases were among the 33,650 recorded across the South East, a figure which rose by 10,768 over the 24-hour period.

Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, have recovered and those that have died.

As of 5pm on Wednesday, 43,995 people had died from coronavirus across the UK.