There are now hundreds of cases of the Delta covid variant in Staffordshire, a top councillor has revealed.

According to data revealed yesterday by former Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins, there are 246 people with the "Indian" strain now referred to as the Delta variant.

As of 4pm today, Government stats for the seven days to June 8 in Staffordshire showed 310 new covid cases in total, suggesting the more-transmissible Delta strain is the dominant variant in the county, reflecting a national trend.

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Councillor Atkins' data shows 17 Delta cases in Cannock Chase district; 23 in East Staffordshire; 37 in Lichfield; 12 in Newcastle under Lyme; 14 in South Staffordshire; 29 in Stafford; 92 in the Staffordshire Moorlands, where there is a significant outbreak in Leek; and 22 in Tamworth.

The infection rates - or cases per 100,000 residents - he has quoted are 18.9 for Cannock Chase; 19.2 for East Staffordshire; 21 for Lichfield; 23.9 for Newcastle; 25.8 for South Staffordshire; 12.4 for Stafford; 110.7 for the Staffordshire Moorlands; and 43 for Tamworth.

This morning's official Government data shows the overall infection rate for England is 67.5. Staffordshire's is 35.2. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is later today set to announce whether England will lift lockdown restrictions as planned on June 21.

Councillor Atkins wrote to residents: "More than 4,000 people have already been tested as part of our proactive drive to manage the outbreak linked to four schools in Leek.

"Our bid for surge testing has been approved nationally and we will aim to test up to 10,000 people in Leek and also Cheddleton from (this) week.

"This will include the testing of school children aged eight and over. Older pupils will be tested in school and home kits will be sent to families with younger children.

"Plans for wider testing in the community are being finalised.

"The NHS is also offering first dose of the vaccine to anyone aged 18 or over who lives in Leek and Cheddleton or Staffordshire residents who work in these areas.

"The pop-up clinic at Leek Moorlands Hospital runs until June 16. It is open (today).

"If no slots are showing people are advised to phone, you can find out more at our dedicated page - www.staffordshire.gov.uk/leektesing."

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