April 20, 2020 12.18 pm This story is over 48 months old

COVID-19: Lincolnshire cases ‘better than expected’

Not as bad as first feared

The rate of daily increases in coronavirus is “better than expected,” according to Lincolnshire’s public health bosses.

Professor Derek Ward, director of public heath at Lincolnshire County Council, said the county had experienced a “gradual increase” in cases but not figures on the scale of an epidemic.

A total of 584 cases have been tested positive so far in Lincolnshire, the highest daily count was 44 on April 9.

Since then cases have levelled out and remained at a lower rate for a longer period of time.

Lincoln in lockdown. Photo: Joshua Bell

Professor Ward said the day-by-day cases are not as bad as public health officials first feared when preparing for the outbreak.

“The numbers are much better than we expected, it’s a gradual increase”, he said.

“In an epidemic, we would expect an exponential increase in cases daily.

“It cannot be down to anything other than the social distancing measures. I think the test will come in three weeks times if the restrictions are lifted.”

Professor Ward said the numbers should continue at that rate as health officials ramp up testing of key workers across the county’s three test facilities.

Table of COVID-19 daily increases across Lincolnshire since the first case was confirmed. Data: Public Health England.

He added that the vast majority of those who are confirmed with the virus will have a mild illness.

As previously reported, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk from COVID-19.

In Lincolnshire, all of the patients who died had underlying health conditions, the local hospitals trust say.

Data: NHS/UHLT Chart: The Lincolnite

Of those that have died, 54 have been over the age of 70 – an age group considered vulnerable to COVID-19.

The youngest was 49 and the oldest was a woman aged 92. The first Lincolnshire death was recorded on March 26, a woman in her 80s.

Professor Ward said the county has an older population which is reflected in the fatality figures.

So far, 74 people have died in the county and 584 have tested positive for coronavirus.

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