Covid-19 case rates have increased across every region in England with a sharp rise in the North West, new figures show.
The latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England (PHE), published on Thursday, shows that rates in north-west England increased to 149.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to June 6, up week-on-week from 89.4.
This is the highest for the region since the week ending February 21 and is also the highest of any region in England.
Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire continues to have the highest rate, with 937 new cases in the seven days to June 6 – the equivalent of 625.9 cases per 100,000 people.
This is up from 438.9 in the seven days to May 30.
Rossendale in Lancashire has the second highest rate, up slightly from 310.6 to 327.4, with 234 new cases.
Hyndburn – also in Lancashire – has the third highest, up from 191.3 to 320.8, with 260 new cases.
South-west England has the lowest rate: 20.8, up week-on-week from 9.7.
In north-west England the number of patients is currently 271, the highest since April 19.
The data also showed that 147 hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 in England were reported for Tuesday, up from 115 a week earlier and the highest number since April 14.
The figures cover all patients admitted in the previous 24 hours who were known to have Covid-19, plus any patients diagnosed in hospital with Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.
PHE also said that case rates have risen among almost all age groups in England, with a spike in rates amongst 20 to 29-year-olds, going from 54.0 in the week ending May 30 to 121.0 in the seven days to June 6.
This is the age group with the highest rate and the biggest week-on-week increase, while the second highest rate is among 10 to 19-year-olds, up from 73.7 to 99.4.
The latest figures come as Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs that the Delta variant first identified in India now comprised 91% of cases of coronavirus in the UK.
PHE medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said: “Once again we are seeing cases rapidly rise across the country and the Delta variant is now dominant.
“The increase is primarily in younger age groups who are yet to receive the vaccine and we are seeing more hospital admissions.
“The vaccine rollout is a huge success, however there are many millions who still need one or two doses and protection is not immediate.
“Therefore, follow the guidance and remember it is safer outside. Practise good hand hygiene and wear face coverings in enclosed spaces.”
The Government said that as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 7,393 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.
It added that seven more people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 127,867.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.