HEALTH experts are investigating an 18th birthday party which has left at least 10 people testing positive with Covid-19.

Testing is still ongoing and the number of partygoers infected with coronavirus may rise, according to Colin Cox, Director of Public Health for Cumbria.

It is believed more than 30 people attended the party at the home of a Carlisle businessman last weekend."We are aware of a gathering for an 18th birthday party and a number of people have tested positive for Covid-19. We have carried out most of the swab tests which only began on Friday, and at least 10 have so far tested positive. There were more than 30 at the party," confirmed Mr Cox.

Mr Cox added it was not the first time a social gathering has resulted in a large number of cases. "We are aware of a number of cases that have led to a considerable spread and this is why people need to be sensible and keep number down and observe social distancing. People need to be taking things seriously."

The number of coronavirus cases in Cumbria is, said Mr Cox, still relatively low, with 50 or 60 per week. "But this is twice as many as in June. We are generally seeing three to four new cases each day in Carlisle on average, but that adds up to around 21 a week, a third of cases in the whole of Cumbria. We are still looking a small and mainly associated individual outbreaks. The virus is still here. My concern is how we control it here."

"Carlisle is still experiencing the highest number at the moment, but Allerdale is on the up. It still feels like a long way from a local lockdown, but if numbers continue to rise that would have to be the route we would have to go," added Mr Cox.

The numbers of younger people with coronavirus is increasing, because, said Mr Cox, they are out and about more socialising in pubs and clubs with the easing of lockdown. "The result is greater when you are a confined space, where you are close to people and ventilation is not good, and when you add alcohol into the mix social distancing tends to go out of the window."

Mr Cox said worryingly they are seeing more and more spread from those that are asymptomatic covid. "My concern is that what happens when this spread gets greater, or when these people work with vulnerable people, like in care homes."