Ten more cases of Covid-19 have been found in Hertsmere with the rate of new cases surpassing 50.

A total of 53 cases have been identified in the borough since August 28 which is a rate of 51.9 – now five times higher than it was just over a week ago.

With 61 cases since August 25, Hertfordshire County Council is attributing the spike in cases to a number of large gatherings in homes in the Borehamwood area.

The weekly rate of cases in Hertsmere is set to break into the top 10 highest in England - out of more than 300 local authorities - and Hertsmere's rate is higher than some places currently with lockdown restrictions.

Cases are being reviewed constantly over the weekend by public health officials.

There has been no talk yet of any imminent lockdown measures but the borough is likely to be put on Public Health England's watchlist of 'areas of concern' in the coming days.

The majority of cases found between August 26 and September 1 were in Radlett (8) Elstree & Aldenham (7) Bushey Heath (7) Cowley Hill in Borehamwood (6), and Bushey North (5).

Earlier today, the leader of Hertsmere Borough Council urged the community to “work together” to stop the spread of the disease.

Councillor Morris Bright said: “We have to continue to act to prevent this current increase in the number of cases in the borough from spiralling further upwards. We do not want more deaths and untold woe for sufferers and their families.

"Wear a face covering; keep your distance; wash your hands more frequently and for longer; and if you are showing symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you must self-isolate for 14 days.

"Thank you to all those who are helping to ram home that message in our town centres and high streets this weekend.

"Let's work together to contain this threat and keep our community safe and well."

Councillor Tim Hutchings, executive member for public health in Hertfordshire, said this week gatherings involving teenagers in private homes towards the end of August have caused the outbreak.

Like Cllr Bright, he is urging members of the community to stick to rules around social distancing and restrict the number of people they meet outside of their household.

This weekend, there has been a targeted campaign in Borehamwood led by the Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum.

It has involved representatives from Public Health England, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Hertfordshire Constabulary, and Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue, and they have been engaging with shoppers and residents on the importance of acting responsibly to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

Data published this week by the Office for National Statistics shows a total of 181 deaths of people living in Hertsmere where Covid-19 appeared on the death certificate – which is the highest in Hertfordshire.

Many people who died were care home residents.

A death in a hospital in the week ending August 21 was the first Covid-19 death of someone living in Hertsmere for more than a month.

Meanwhile, a patient aged between 60 and 79 with an underlying health condition died at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust on Thursday, the NHS reported today.

According to a map released by the ONS last week, the wards in Hertsmere which have experienced the most Covid-19 deaths are Potters Bar Parkfield (30 deaths), Bushey Heath (27), Cowley Hill (24) and Elstree & Aldenham (15).