THE speed coronavirus is spreading in Essex has been revealed thanks to new data.

The Government is trying to keep the R Number, which is the number of people an infected person will pass it on to, below one.

If it is greater than one, the epidemic will grow exponentially and residents face a second wave of the virus.

If it is kept below one, the epidemic will ultimately disappear.

New analysis compares the number of confirmed cases reported by an authority over a two-week period to estimate the trend of this number.

In the Essex County Council authority area the spread rate, or R Number, was averaging at 0.78 on Tuesday.

The number is fluctuating depending on the number of new cases confirmed each day.

On Monday there were three new cases and on Sunday there were six.

Here is a chart plotting the data:

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

This compares with an estimated R number of 0.84 in neighbouring Southend. 

Posting the findings to crowd-sharing research platform Deckzero, the researchers said: “This approximated value is not the instantaneous reproduction number.

“However, it does bear the same unit and trending as [the instantaneous reproduction number] and thus may offer a glimpse into how might have changed during the last 14-day period.

“When cases are small, R will fluctuate more; this should not be treated as noise as the infection grows exponentially is undisrupted.”

To view the analysis, click here.

The Government has announced plans to deal with flare-ups of the virus in parts of England in the coming months.

This could mean schools or workplaces in some areas of the country are shut down if they have an outbreak.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the idea was part of the test, track and trace system designed to prevent a second wave.

On May 15 it was reported that the infection rate in the UK had gone up and was approaching rapid growth, according to Government scientific advice.

The so-called R-number was reported to be between 0.7 and 1.0 nationally.