Here is a round-up of the most recent coronavirus updates:

  • Outbreaks of Covid-19 have been reported on “three to four wards” at James Cook University Hospital – with trust chiefs gearing up for a second surge of cases on Teesside. 

A total of 25 positive cases have been confirmed at the Marton Road site with five people in critical care. Councillors at Middlesbrough’s health scrutiny panel were told how the hospital had just “seven or eight” cases last week – but the second spike in virus cases in the community was now beginning to make its presence felt within hospitals. 

  • Boris Johnson has promised “creative and imaginative” action to protect jobs as he faced calls for a fresh economic rescue package after unveiling new coronavirus restrictions. The damage to the economy could increase if tougher measures are needed, with ministers warning a second lockdown could be required if the new rules are flouted.

A member of the Government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) warned that tighter curbs may be required in any event as the existing measures do not go “anywhere near far enough” to bring coronavirus under control.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson was repeatedly challenged about the looming prospect of support being withdrawn from firms and workers despite the prospect of the latest restrictions being in place for six months.

  • A further 729 people in the North East and North Yorkshire have tested positive for Covid-19. The Government said that as of 9am on Wednesday, September 23, there were a further 6,178 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. Overall, 409,729 cases have been confirmed nationally.

It also said a further 37 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to 41,862.

There has been one further death at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust; one at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; and three at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

Here is a breakdown of cases across the North-East and North Yorkshire:

County Durham: 4,316 was 4,234;

Darlington: 717 was 704;

Gateshead: 1,961 was 1,889;

Hartlepool: 844 was 828;

Middlesbrough: 1,335 was 1,307;

Newcastle: 2,678 was 2,539;

North Tyneside: 1,403 was 1,352;

North Yorkshire: 3,379 was 3,331;

Northumberland: 2,186 was 2,102;

Redcar and Cleveland: 886 was 871;

South Tyneside: 1,615 was 1,563;

Stockton: 1,262 was 1,243;

Sunderland: 2,757 was 2,661;

York: 1,161 was 1,147.

Total: 26,500 was 25,771 – increase of 729.