Cornwall Council has today declared a major incident in response to the "extraordinary challenges" posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes as the number of known cases in Cornwall rose from 10 to 16 today. 

It said the measures would help protect critical services for residents and make it easier for its agency partners to work together "during this time of increased demand in our communities".

Declaring a major incident allows the council to implement tried and tested plans to keep residents safe and well informed. The decision, it said, was not due to a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in Cornwall - it is a preventative measure to ensure all agencies and organisations are able to make best use of their resources.

Cornwall Council leader Julian German said: “Declaring this major incident allows us to put in place additional measures to make sure we can continue to keep residents safe and provide the critical services they need.

“I’ve been greatly heartened by the way our communities have responded in such difficult circumstances.

"Cornwall is a place that pulls together, and I ask everyone in every community to support and help each other through the coming months. 

"We can all do our part to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, and I urge you to continue following the latest advice from Public Health England and the Government around good hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation.”

A major incident has also been declared in the Devon & Cornwall Police Local Resilience Forum (LRF) area in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

The force said the declaration had been made "to ensure that all agencies across the Devon & Cornwall Local Resilience Forum are co-ordinated and working as effectively as possible at a time of critical need in our communities".