THE coronavirus infection rate for Inverclyde has increased markedly due to the new Omicron variant of the disease.

A total of 539 local people tested positive for Covid-19 between December 15-21.

The district's current case rate per 100,000 people is 699.

Seventeen of the country's 32 local authority areas have higher figures than that, including neighbouring Renfrewshire at 1,117 cases per 100k.

The Scottish average over the same period was 823 per 100k.