Brant Road in Lincoln has been named in a list of the country’s top ten streets with the slowest broadband.

The road, which stretches from Bracebridge to Waddington, comes in at ninth place with the average download speed just 0.39 Mbps.

The Ofcom data released by comparison service Uswitch says Superfast broadband is not yet available for residents living in Brand Road – they can get Ultrafast broadband, but it would appear speeds are still sluggish.

Wistaston Road in Crewe, Cheshire, was crowned the UK’s slowest street for broadband, with average download speeds of 0.24Mbps.

This is 3,567 times slower than Haul Fryn in Birchgrove, Swansea, the street that has the country’s fastest broadband with average speeds of 882Mbps.

| Photo: Uswitch

The slowest and fastest UK streets have been revealed through the analysis of 276,083 speed tests run by broadband users over the past year.

Lincolnshire’s hospital admissions for unvaccinated COVID-positive patients is five times higher than those who are jabbed, according to health leaders.

Professor Derek Ward, Lincolnshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, confirmed to Local Democracy Reporters that there were 56 Covid-positive patients in hospital on Wednesday morning, of which 28 were unvaccinated – around half and half.

However, he said the rate of admission for people who had two doses of the vaccine was about 7 per 100,000 of the population, whereas the rate for unvaccinated patients was around 38 per 100,000 population.

“So you’re five times higher if you’ve not had your vaccine and your chances of being admitted to hospital have significantly reduced if you’ve had your vaccine – so go and get it,” he said.

He said the “really positive” news was that Lincolnshire had been on a downward trend in terms of cases with a current infection rate of 405 per 100,000 population compared to the England rate of 440.

The highest rates continue to be in school age children, with primary school ages of 4-11 currently at a rate of 980 and secondary school children at 850.

“So basically, school-based transmission it looks like and certainly school age based transmission.

“We know that the vast majority of kids who get it will have a very mild disease if indeed they’ve got any symptoms and what it’s showing really is the effectiveness of the vaccine.

“So the key message is, everybody must get their vaccine – make sure they complete their two primary doses and then they get their booster.

“The more people that do that, the better and the lower our figures will be.”

However, he said he understood people’s reluctance and fatigue with vaccines and restrictions but said there were “huge swathes” of the planet where people were unvaccinated and so lots of people still had the virus, meaning the likelihood a new variant could escape the vaccines.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward. | Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

“Everybody’s tired,” he said.

“I’m in the office at the moment with with all of our public health team and all of our health protection nurses, they’ve been going nonstop for two years, best part of.

“We’re all tired but we just got to keep going. It’s going to be a difficult winter and we need to get through.”

Many are sceptical of the government’s promise that Christmas will not be affected by the virus this year after last minute restrictions at the end of 2020.

Professor Ward warned that if we don’t protect ourselves with hands, face, space and vaccines, then the government “may have to make some difficult decisions” around Christmas.

“Looking at the epidemiology and what is happening in Southern Africa. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more cases of Omicron as we hit Christmas.

“It just looks like that’s the nature of it. We haven’t seen a massive increase yet and we are looking for it really proactively. But I think as we go through next week and the week after, we’ll start to see a significantly larger number of cases.

“If we if we do all of that as well as keep testing ourselves, then we’ll will delay it as long as we can if we don’t do that, then it’s going to hit probably just before Christmas and obviously then the government may have to make some difficult decisions.”

Finally, Professor Ward said his big message right now was that if people felt ill or had symptoms they should get a PCR test not just an LFT.

He said LFTs should be done twice a week ideally and said he would be happy to see PCR testing sites busy even if it is just people with flu getting tested and getting negative results.

Lincolnshire’s health bosses have said no cases of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the county, but it’s only a matter of time until it arrives.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward told Local Democracy Reporters: “I have no doubt we will see it.

“We haven’t been notified of any confirmed cases and we’ve looked through our own data and there’s no indication, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time – I just can’t answer when.”

The Government has confirmed more than 30 Omicron cases in the UK now, with some in the East of England.

In response to the variant it has brought back travel restrictions to several areas including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, as well as making masks mandatory in shops and on public transport.

Booster jabs are also being rolled out to all adults in the next few days and weeks and the time between shots has been shortened. People will be contacted when it is their time to be invited for a booster jab.

Professor Ward said public health professionals were concerned about all variants of the disease, but that the government’s response, and that of other world leaderships, suggested “we should be cautious about this one”.

He said more understanding was needed with the variant looking to be more transmissible and able to evade the vaccine, however, he said the key question was around the severity of the disease.

“We need to understand the impact on mortality and we need to understand whether our existing treatments that we have in the NHS work as effectively as as they do against the current strain.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward. | Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

He said travel restrictions were necessary to control borders and prevent or delay the arrival of the variant as much as possible pointing to how the original virus entered the county through a skiing trip to Italy.

“We know we’ve got some cases already, I suspect there’s a significant number more that we haven’t yet picked up. So the slower it spreads, the more time we’ve got to understand it. So anything we can do to slow it down is the key thing from my perspective.”

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