HUNDREDS more coronavirus cases in Worcestershire have been confirmed after historic government testing was made public for the first time.

An extra 886 confirmed coronavirus cases have been added to the figures for Worcestershire pushing the total number up to 2,334 as of July 2 – which paints the most accurate picture yet of the state of the coronavirus in the county.

The huge increase does not mean there has been a sudden surge in cases but that new data on testing outside of hospitals has now been made public for local areas and will be added to daily figures.

The number of confirmed cases in Worcestershire now includes results from historic ‘pillar 2’ data which shows tests carried out in the community through home testing kits and swabs and drive-thru test centres.

Previously figures only showed ‘pillar 1’ testing which came solely from tests carried out by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS hospitals.

The total number of confirmed cases just based on ‘pillar 1’ data showed 1,448 cases in Worcestershire on July 1 which was 886 more than previously reported.

A breakdown of the figures shows there has been 392 confirmed cases in Worcester as opposed to the 234 previously reported on July 1 when only the number of positive cases found through ‘pillar 1’ testing were used.

The new figures show there has been 220 cases in Malvern Hills and 406 cases across Wychavon.

The most confirmed cases in the county were in Bromsgrove where 521 have been confirmed.

A total of 388 cases have been confirmed in Redditch and 407 cases have been confirmed in Wyre Forest.

The government was criticised earlier this week for not making public ‘pillar 2’ data which shows the wider picture for infection rates in local areas.

The effect of ‘pillar 2’ data was shown in Leicester this week, which has reverted back to stricter lockdown measure after seeing a huge spike in cases, where the two sets of data painted a very different picture.

According to publicly available ‘pillar 1’ data, 80 new cases were recorded in Leicester in the last two weeks of June compared to ‘pillar 2’ data, which had not been made available until late on Thursday (July 2), which actually showed 944 new cases.