A NORTH EAST council is urging its residents to 'meet outdoors where they can' after Covid case numbers almost tripled in a week.

Sunderland City Council issued the warning as it said 116 new cases were recorded in the week to June 6, a rise of 77 on the previous week.

It also said its Covid infection rate had surged from 14.0 cases per 100,000 population to 41.8 cases per 100,000.

Read more: TEN out of 14 areas in the North East and Yorkshire see rise in Covid cases 

Gerry Taylor, the council's executive director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning, urged people to keep following guidance around hands, face and space.

She also urged those planning to meet up with family and friends to do so outside, if possible in a bid to reduce the risk of transmission.

Ms Taylor said: "This week we have seen Covid infections rise rapidly with our case numbers almost doubling in a week. 

"It’s a stark reminder that Covid is very much still with us so I want to remind everyone, even those of us who have been vaccinated, of the steps we all need to take to stop the virus spreading further. 

"Remember hands, face space and fresh air. These basic actions are still really important so please keep washing your hands, wear a face covering when required and keep your distance from others.

"Meet outdoors if you can.  It’s the safest way to see others so if you’re meeting friends or family this weekend, I’d encourage you to take advantage of the glorious weather and stay outside.

"If you are inside, please stick to the rule of six or two households and let the fresh air in by opening a window or door."

Ms Taylor's stark warning comes as The Northern Echo today reported that ten out of 14 council areas across our region had seen a rise in Covid cases in the past week.

Figures for the week leading to June 4, compared with the week previous, showed cases significantly up in Northumberland, South Tyneside, Newcastle and Hambleton.

Ms Taylor stressed the importance of testing and also self isolating if those or someone in your household has symptoms however mild.

She said: "Get tested and stay at home if you need to. If you have any symptoms of Covid, even if they are very mild or if you have a positive result from a home test, you must stay home along with everyone you live with and get a PCR test. 

"So whether your plans for this weekend involve seeing friends and family, watching the Euros or a spot of shopping, please do so safely and help us keep Covid under control."