Around 500 schoolchildren and teachers are currently self-isolating – as the number of cases continues to rise in Swindon’s schools.

The borough council said it had 11 “ongoing situations” at schools, linked to 36 positive coronavirus cases.

There were “just shy of 500” children and teachers off school self-isolating, director of public health Steve Maddern said.

The schools with positive cases have not been listed by the council.

In a briefing to reporters on Friday, Mr Maddern said officials were managing coronavirus cases at five care homes – although he cautioned that there had been “less than 10” positive cases and all of those who had tested positive for the virus were staff.

Swindon’s overall case rate continued to climb, with the equivalent of 42.3 new cases per 100,000 in the past week. That was around double the rate at the beginning of the month, but still below the regional average of 75.4 cases per 100,000.

The town is in the medium risk category – or the lowest of the government’s three tiers, with people required to abide by the rule of six and a 10pm pub and restaurant curfew.

Mr Maddern urged people to keep to the rules. “The only way we stay away from a local-level restriction or even a more national restriction is by people playing by the rules.”