THE 'R rate' in the South West has slightly decreased as coronavirus cases in Dorset continue to grow. 

The data, which has been released by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), rates the ability to spread Covid-19 and the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to, on average.

The 'R rate' for the South West is currently between 1.2 - 1.5, which is higher than the latest R number range for the UK of 1.1 - 1.3.

The current growth rate in Dorset is set at +4 to +7, meaning that new infections are growing between four per cent to seven per cent every day.

Last week, the South West had an R rate of 1.3 - 1.6, with a growth rate between five to nine per cent.

The R rate for the South West remains the highest across England, with R rates for South East and Midlands at 1.2 - 1.4.

Dorset has seen a rapid rise in the number of Covid-19 cases across the county, with Public Health England reporting more than 500 cases this week. 

These are the latest R estimates by NHS England region: 

Region - R Growth rate - per day

England: 1.1-1.3. +3 to +5

East of England: 1.2-1.4, +3 to +6

London: 1.1-1.3, +2 to +5

Midlands: 1.2-1.4,+3 to +6

North East and Yorkshire: 1.1-1.3, +2 to +5

North West: 1.0-1.2, +1 to +3

South East: 1.2-1.4,+3 to +6

South West: 1.2-1.5, +4 to +7