A spike in coronavirus cases has raised health concerns in Cumbria with residents asked to use “common sense” and remember their part to play in reducing the rate of infection.

It was announced yesterday that Eden and Carlisle were amongst the 20 local authority areas in the country with the most new cases of coronavirus.

Eden is ranked six and Carlisle sits at 12 on the list which ranks the areas with the most new cases.

Liberal Democrat county councillor Trevor Allison feels that the number of cases are “concerning.”

He said: “It is a real concern. I am increasingly concerned that we are number 12 in the country and Carlisle is at the centre.”

In an interview with BBC Radio Cumbria, director of public health for Cumbria County Council Colin Cox called on Cumbrian people to be aware of the Covid-19 threat. He said: “It can rear its head when people drop their guard.”

Mr Cox has said that although the spike in Covid-19 infections was concerning, the numbers were low in comparison to larger regions.

About 25 new cases are being reported in the Carlisle area in the space of a week.

The total number of positive cases for both areas remains lower than other areas of concern in the North West but the rates of infection per 100,000 people are significantly higher than the overall averages in the North West and England.

Explaining why Eden has risen through the ranks, he said: “The outbreaks we’re seeing in Carlisle and Eden are putting these areas in the national spotlight, but the situation is significantly different to what is going in other parts of the region and appear to be connected to social events and the night time economy. What is of concern is the fact that infection numbers are increasing, even though the total number of cases remains comparatively low.

“It is notable that a significant proportion of the new cases in Carlisle and Eden relate to house parties or barbecues where there was mixing between groups from multiple households. I urge people to think carefully before holding these types of gathering.”

In a renewed appeal to control the spread of Covid-19, Mr Cox said: “To contain the spread we need people to stick to the basic public health advice social distancing, hand washing, wear a mask or face covering in enclosed public spaces and self-isolate and get tested if you start showing symptoms.”

The news comes off the back of an appeal to the public by the local authority following an outbreak in Carlisle pubs.

Cumbria County Council has urged anyone who visited Lloyd’s Bar, the Thin White Duke, The Museum and The Turf Tavern to get tested immediately. The appeal was sparked by a group of six pub goers testing positive for the coronavirus after visiting four businesses in six days.

The warning only applies to those who visited the Carlisle pubs between July 9 and 14.

Mr Cox said: “We have asked some people in Carlisle who visited certain pubs to get tested, even if not symptomatic, and the response has been fantastic. That data will help hugely in understanding if there has been infection spread, and will guide how we respond to similar situations in future.”

Coun Allison was disappointed to hear that Cumbria is one of the hardest-hit areas.

He said: “I’m surprised and disappointed that we even feature on that list.

“We are not a high density area of the population.”

He added that he would expect to see high population areas such as Blackpool to fill the list. Carlisle MP John Stevenson said: “It’s concerning and it does demonstrate and bring home to us all that we have to be vigilant and take personal responsibility.”

Mr Stevenson added that controlling the pandemic is of the utmost importance. “Health is highly important to us all, the health authorities and local authorities are doing their absolute best to make sure we control any outbreaks.”

He added that the general public should support the NHS and care staff who are on the front-line of the coronavirus outbreak. “The wider public have a contribution to make. We have all got individual responsibility to conduct ourselves properly, the Government have put measures in place and it’s important to comply with that.”

He said it is disappointing to see scenes where these social distancing guidelines are not being followed. He said: “We have got to make sure that we do not exasperate the problem” adding that we need to use common sense in how we operate during the pandemic.