SALISBURY'S R number, the number of people an infected person is likely to pass the virus to, could be around 0.71, according to new research.

New analysis shared on the Deckzero Covid Tracker compares the number of confirmed cases reported by a local authority over a two-week period to estimate the trend of this number.

Wiltshire, which recorded seven new cases last week, and 17 the week before last, has an estimated R value of 0.49.

This means the county is ranked 120th out of 183 local authority areas examined.

Researchers behind the Deckzero analysis 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 if undisrupted.”

Wiltshire has a relatively low number of cases, so this number is likely to fluctuate.

Nationally, the R value is estimated to be between 0.7 and 0.9.

The Government says it is working to make sure the number remains below one to prevent the virus from spreading rapidly and exponentially and avoid a second wave.