Rossendale council has released a statement following a surge in coronavirus cases across the Valley, which they say are related to a school in Whitworth.

On Wednesday, council bosses said the sudden increase is largely because a school in the area, which was being used by an out of hours provider, suffered an outbreak.

It was also stated that a small number of licensed premises in the borough had too been privy to exposure.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the council said: "The council is aware of a recent small surge in coronavirus cases for Rossendale.

"An outbreak has been identified at a school premises in Whitworth which was being used last week by an out of hours provider and this is being dealt with by Lancashire County Council.

"Parents of all local children concerned have been notified and will be self-isolating and seeking a test."

Leaders of the council said the overall rate of positive cases had always been relatively low, and any increase is to be monitored closely.

The statement continued: "We have also identified a small number of bars and restaurants across the borough who have reported staff and customers who have tested positive since August 28.

"In these instances, we have worked closely with the businesses to ensure they do everything possible to keep both staff and customers safe.

"The premises have voluntarily closed to carry out a deep clean and will be testing every member of staff.

"These premises will remain closed until the deep clean is undertaken and all staff have tested negative."

Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Borough Council said there was "no anticipation that the small surge would mean the borough would need to return to the increased lockdown restrictions we recently experienced".

Cllr Barnes said: "We continue with our programme of advising businesses of their responsibilities to protect public health.

"We will monitor the situation closely and take this opportunity to re-emphasise the Government’s guidance on social distancing."

MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry said: "Many of you will be concerned like me about the increase in coronavirus cases we've seen across the Rossendale Valley.

"We all have our part to play in making sure we can stay safe.

"First of all wash your hands, as often as reasonably possible, and do it for a long enough period of time to either sing Happy Birthday or Rule Britannia; make sure you keep scrubbing.

"Secondly we all need to maintain social distancing at a minimum of one metre; that's one of the best ways we can all stay safe.

"And finally, stay alert for any symptoms.

"If you start to show symptoms get tested straight away and self isolate because by working together we can beat this awful disease."