THERE were not six new coronavirus cases confirmed in Worcester in a day - despite an email to GPs giving a warning to that effect.

A notice, widely shared on social media, claimed the rash of new cases meant that Worcester was 'flagging red' for Covid R rate.

However, Worcestershire County Council has confirmed this information was incorrect.

We reported how an email - dated June 18 - and apparently from Dr Nikki Burger was sent out to GPs with the warning of a potential local spike.

The council said initially the letter did not 'accurately reflect the situation' in Worcestershire but has now confirmed the six cases in a day claim is not true.

It also said that there are no R rate figures available for the city of Worcester - or even Worcestershire - and that the closest regional measure is the Midlands.

Tom Grove, from NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, said the email was sent to GP practices with incorrect information, but it isn't known how it subsequently came to be printed and distributed across social media.

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Mr Groves said: “The letter was not produced or distributed by Dr Nikki Burger. The information appears to be based on an actual email sent by Dr Nikki Burger to GP surgeries across Worcester city to remind them to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“It has since been confirmed that information shared did not accurately reflect the current situation in Worcestershire, consequently the information on the letter is incorrect. It was not intended for the public. We do not know who produced and distributed the letter in the image that was posted on Facebook.”

Dr Kathryn Cobain, director for public health in Worcestershire said: “R rates are calculated nationally and regionally. Data is drawn from many official sources and the process is complex and robust. Here in Worcestershire, we fall under the Midlands region for this data, and this includes a very large area, across the East and West Midlands.

“It is not possible to calculate a meaningful R rate at a very local level, for example in cities such as Worcester. An R rate even at county level would not be a reliable and robust interpretation of the data. This is because the data gathered is at such low numbers that even a minor change can create a disproportionate difference. Locally we review a multitude of early warning indicators and look for signs of change. We continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety of our residents. “