FEWER than 150 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed across Dorset over the last 24 hours.

Data released by Public Health England show 140 cases were recorded in the county in the 24 hours leading up to 9am on Friday, February 19.

84 people across the Dorset Council area tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 10,979 cases in this area.

The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area has recorded 56 new cases over the same time period, which brings the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 24,272.

The latest figures are a slight decrease in the number of confirmed cases on Thursday, February 18, when 141 positive tests were reported.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 35,251 confirmed cases of coronavirus across Dorset.

Dorset's cases were among the 206,782 recorded across the South West, a figure which rose by 623 over the period.

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.