April 26, 2020 3.00 pm This story is over 20 months old

Lockdown Week 5 Day 7: 154 Lincolnshire coronavirus deaths, 1,180 local cases, 152,840 in the UK, 20,732 deaths

The latest coronavirus news for Lincolnshire

Follow the latest coronavirus lockdown updates from Lincoln and Lincolnshire.

1,180 coronavirus cases in Greater Lincolnshire

  • 759 in Lincolnshire (up from 748)
  • 296 in North Lincolnshire (up from 280)
  • 125 in North East Lincolnshire (up from 123)

154 COVID-19 deaths in Greater Lincolnshire

  • 94 in Lincolnshire (up from 92)
  • 60 in Northern Lincolnshire (up from 55)

152,840 UK cases, 20,732 deaths

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Live blog finished. Updates are displayed chronologically.
20th April 2020 10:39am

Days of PPE left, but hospitals boss promises contingencies in place

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust boss Andrew Morgan has responded to staff who “do not think we are putting their interests first or trying to keep them safe.”

The trust chief executive has issued a letter in which he says the trust does “not have any immediate shortages” of equipment and that it is acting in line with government guidelines.

“I have been concerned to hear that members of our staff do not think we are putting their interests first or trying to keep them safe,” he wrote.

However, his figures reveal that there is concern over the “timely replenishment of stock” with just two days of fluid resistant masks left and three days of gowns – the former due to get extra delivered today (Monday, April 20) and the latter sparking “contingency plans”.

Read more here

20th April 2020 11:44am

Lincoln couple hold lockdown non-wedding after big day postponed

A Lincoln couple’s wedding plans were ruined by the coronavirus crisis, but they were determined to stay positive and filmed a fun lockdown video for friends and family on their ‘big day’.

Dan Hill, 27, and Becca Rooney, 28, had already seen their original honeymoon in May cancelled when Thomas Cook collapsed last autumn. When coronavirus halted their wedding day on Saturday, April 18, and another honeymoon was cancelled, they must have cursed their luck.

Instead of feeling down and negative, the couple decided to put together a video for their family and friends so that they could all celebrate the non-wedding day together virtually.

Read more here

20th April 2020 12:20pm

Lincolnshire coronavirus mortuary work progressing in Woodhall Spa

Work is continuing at the site of a mortuary in Woodhall Spa, say those leading the response to coronavirus.

The plans for RAF Woodhall Spa are part of preparations for worst case scenarios put in place in case of a massive rise in numbers of coronavirus victims leading to a need for extra capacity at the county’s existing facilities.

The facility will have an additional capacity of 500.

The Lincolnshire Resilience Forum and its partners have secured a national agreement to use the site for a potential mortuary and Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin has confirmed “work is continuing at the site as part of these preparations,” warning that the county “cannot be complacent”.

Speaking to Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines, he said the site would “hopefully not be required” but that, if it was, “it would ensure deceased loved ones could be treated with dignity and respect”.

He said: “I hope we don’t need it, I really do hope at the end of all this we can say “yes, it’s cost some time, money and effort, but we don’t need it”.”

“What I don’t want to be is in six months time or 12 months time, we’ve not done that work, needed it, and ultimately we’ve got loved ones that have died not being dealt with in respect and dignity in terms of what happens once they’ve died.”

Lincolnshire joins a number of other authorities in planning new mortuary sites, including Bournemouth, Falmer, North Wales, Liverpool, Chorley and Southampton Airport.

20th April 2020 12:28pm

COVID-19: Lincolnshire cases ‘better than expected’

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.

Read more here

20th April 2020 2:05pm

Police fine joyride bikers in Lincolnshire woods

A number of joyride bikers in the woods near Grantham were fined by police for breaking coronavirus lockdown restriction rules over the weekend.

Lincolnshire Police Specials and Grantham Police attended Twyford Woods during the afternoon of Sunday, April 19 after receiving a report of off-road bikes and quads in the area.

Multiple anti-social behaviour warnings were issued and some of the vehicles were seized too.

Drivers were issued with fixed penalty notices after ignoring a request to stop.

Read more here

20th April 2020 2:55pm

Lincolnshire coronavirus deaths slow rise, four more confirmed

Greater Lincolnshire has seen a slow but steady rise in the number of coronavirus deaths as the total number reached 111.

A further four deaths have been confirmed at the county’s hospitals today (April 20). Two were recorded at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and two at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust.

In Lincolnshire, 76 patients have now died and 584 tested positive for COVID-19.

Read more here.

20th April 2020 3:04pm

Meet Lincolnshire’s youngest coronavirus fighter

A one-year-old girl from Coningsby has been described as a “little fighter” after becoming one of the youngest in the country to recover from coronavirus.

Agata and Michael Peters welcomed their daughter Leah into the world 15 months ago. She was born prematurely at 32 weeks and five days and has been in and out of hospital ever since.

She has had operations on her heart and treatment for her lungs before, more recently, being diagnosed with COVID-19 at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston. The “little fighter” is now making good progress back at home.

Read more here

20th April 2020 3:20pm

Police coronavirus lockdown fines reach 65

Lincolnshire Police have now fined more than 65 people for breaching coronavirus lockdown.

Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that officers had attended an additional 15 incidents over the weekend.

He said they had mostly been groups and gatherings of people – but that some motorists had also been stopped.

“Some of the individuals are those that have ultimately not complied and we’ve come across them again,” he said.

“But there’s also occasions we’re getting called to locations where people are gathering and clearly that’s defeating the objective of what we’re trying to achieve.”

However, Mr Harwin said that the majority of the public have adhered to the government’s advice.

In the last 24 hours, police have received more than 90 reports from the public about people breaking lockdown rules.

In incidents this weekend, a number of joyride bikers in the woods near Grantham were fined by police for breaking coronavirus lockdown restriction rules.

Also a man was arrested after allegedly assaulting two police officers who were sent to his house in Lincoln after neighbours reported a party gathering.

20th April 2020 5:09pm

Parent fined after child repeatedly breached coronavirus lockdown

Lincolnshire Police officers have fined the parent of a child who “repeatedly breached” Covid-19 rules.

Officers said they had been forced to take action on the Boston parent after engaging and explaining failed to work.

A spokesman for the police said: “We really do not want to have to enforce, but for everyone’s safety on a very few occasions  we have no choice.

“Thank you to all the thousands of young people and their families who are abiding by the rules in challenging times.”

Earlier today, Deputy Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police said the force had handed out more than 65 fines in total to those who have breached the coronavirus lockdown.

20th April 2020 5:17pm

Flood of applications for furlough scheme, says Chancellor

140,000 UK businesses have claimed for support to pay staff who have been furloughed as part of a government-backed scheme, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said.

Rishi Sunak said the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme saw a flood of applications after it opened today (April 20).

The package will see the government pay 80% of wages for employees at those companies which apply.

Mr Sunak said businesses should receive the cash within six working days and more than one million people who have been furloughed will benefit.

“We have never seen an economic crisis like this,” he said.

“We are sowing the seeds of our own recovery.”

Mr Sunak confirmed that 124,743 cases have been tested positive across the UK and 16,509 deaths have been confirmed.

21st April 2020 8:07am

COVID-19: What the stats tell us in Lincolnshire

Daily increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths in Lincolnshire have now been tracked.

The Lincolnite has looked into the data and produced a chart to show the trend between day-by-day rises in deaths and those who have tested positive across the county.

As of this morning (April 21), Lincolnshire has seen 585 confirmed cases and 76 deaths.

You can read more about the stats here


21st April 2020 11:03am

Health bosses ‘on the fence’ over mask use

Public health bosses in Lincolnshire remain on the fence about whether or not people should wear face masks in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said he would be led by the science but still had concern over people disposing of masks properly.

The government is expected to review evidence about masks today (April 21) before making a recommendation of whether or not the public should wear them.

Read more here

21st April 2020 11:13am

First photos show Lincolnshire’s coronavirus mortuary site

Preparation work is ongoing at units on a former RAF base in Woodhall Spa to create a mortuary for a worst-case scenario of the coronavirus pandemic in Lincolnshire.

Last month the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum (LRF) arranged for the site to be used to store up to 500 of people who died with COVID-19, should the virus’ effect take a turn for the worse locally.

On Monday afternoon, when The Lincolnite sent a photographer to location, the site was very quiet, with only a van and a few cars there, assessing the warehouses space. Photo: John Aron

Read more here

21st April 2020 11:26am

Lincoln restaurants re-open as takeaways during lockdown

At least three Lincoln restaurants which closed due to the coronavirus crisis will re-open this week as takeaways.

Several local businesses started delivery services in March in an attempt to survive the coronavirus outbreak after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned people to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues. The government relaxed its rules so pubs and restaurants could operate as hot food takeaways.

Some continued and adapted takeaways, while some were unable to maintain services and closed. Ole Ole Tapas Bar, MaCh and Browns Pie Shop are re-opening as takeaways for collection and delivery this week.

Read more here

21st April 2020 3:08pm

Biggest spike in COVID-19 deaths in Lincolnshire

Greater Lincolnshire hospitals have recorded the highest number coronavirus deaths in 24 hours so far, as 13 more have been announced across the county.

Seven deaths were confirmed today (April 21) at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and six at hospitals run by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

It’s the biggest spike in deaths to date. Before now the highest number recorded was on April 12, when 12 deaths were recorded across the county.

Read more here.

21st April 2020 4:30pm

Lincolnshire remembers loved ones lost to coronavirus

Covid-19 victims are people, not numbers. In Greater Lincolnshire, loved ones have been taken too soon due to the unforgiving virus.

The Lincolnite is offering people in the county the opportunity to create a lasting memorial page dedicated to those lost through coronavirus, telling their stories and remembering them at this unprecedented time.

Find out more here.

21st April 2020 4:43pm

Today’s update from Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council has released its latest video update from council leader Councillor Martin Hill and chief executive Debbie Barnes.

The video covers updates on the care sector, community funding, schools and education and mental health.

21st April 2020 4:59pm

Money still to be claimed for furlough by Lincoln businesses

Businesses in Lincoln can still claim money for furlough during the coronavirus lockdown, including claiming for 80% of employees’ wages.

The government published guidance for businesses on Monday about claiming for wages through the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. The scheme was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as part of a package of support to protect millions of jobs across the country.

It includes advice about claiming for 80% of employees’ wages, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if the business has put them on furlough due to COVID-19.

Businesses across Lincolnshire affected by the crisis will be able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages as part of the scheme. Chancellor Sunak said the scheme saw a flood of applications after it opened on Monday.

Read more here

21st April 2020 5:25pm

Coronavirus vaccine to be trialled on people this week, Health Secretary announces

A coronavirus vaccine which is being developed at University of Oxford will be trialled on humans this Thursday (April 23), the Health Secretary has announced.

Matt Hancock announced further funding for two projects, including £22.5 million for Imperial College and £20 million for Oxford.

The Oxford project is expected to start clinical trials and to go the human trials this Thursday. Meanwhile the investment will also help Imperial College with its phase two trials.

Mr Hancock said the government will back the vaccine developments “to the hilt” by investing in manufacturing if they are successful.

“I am certain that we will throw everything that we have got at developing a vaccine,” he said.

It comes as the Department of Health confirmed 129,044 people have tested positive for coronavirus and the UK death toll increased to 17,337.

22nd April 2020 10:32am

Lincolnshire firefighters drafted in to help ambulance COVID-19 response

Crews from the six fire and rescue services in the East Midlands will link up with the ambulance service for training to support its response to the coronavirus crisis.

Between 10 to 12 fire service staff have been requested from each fire service in the region. A two-day EMAS familiarisation training course has been created. Small groups of six will be taught to ensure social distancing is observed.

Read more here

22nd April 2020 11:03am

COVID-19: ‘Gradual increase’ in care homes as 19 in isolation

Public health bosses say there has been a “gradual increase” in coronavirus cases in care homes as 19 facilities in Lincolnshire are now in isolation.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said the county had seen a steady rise but that staff were handling the cases well.

Last week, 17 homes were placed in protective isolation after the council said up to 30 COVID-19 cases were confirmed.

Read more here.

22nd April 2020 11:19am

COVID-19 vaccine ‘a long way off’, warn health bosses

Public health bosses in Lincolnshire have warned that a coronavirus vaccine is a “long way off” despite human trials expected to start this week.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced yesterday that a University of Oxford vaccine will start to test on humans as of Thursday (April 23).

But, Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said even if the trials are successful the vaccine will not be available until next year.

Read more here.


22nd April 2020 11:24am

More than 150 COVID-19 patients discharged from Lincolnshire hospitals

More than 150 Coronavirus-positive patients have been discharged from Lincolnshire’s hospitals.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust’s deputy chief executive Mark Brassington confirmed the figure this morning (Wednesday).

It is at least 12 more than the latest update from trust boss Andrew Morgan yesterday, who said 138 had been discharged.

Mr Brassington said: “A huge thank you to all staff who are supporting our clinical teams especially today on World Admin Day.

“Without us all working together we would not have discharged over 150 COVID patients.”

Yesterday, Lincolnshire recorded an extra seven deaths at the county’s hospitals, bringing the total to 83 – eight more than half the number of discharges.

The county has recorded 593 cases of coronavirus so far.

The figures mean the mortality rate for the coronavirus in Lincolnshire has increased by 1.3%, with deaths totalling 14% of the county’s cases.

22nd April 2020 2:03pm

Police coronavirus lockdown fines reach 80

Police have issued more than 80 fines to people breaching coronavirus lockdown, bosses have confirmed.

Bill Skelly said the number was small compared to the rest of the country and that in the majority of cases it was a “last resort”.

He also rejected accusations the force was taking a “softly softly” approach to policing the lockdown

Speaking on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, he reassured listeners that police were acting to disperse gatherings and said he understood frustrations.

He thanked residents for reporting incidents to police, and said officers would attend where they could.

He pushed, however, that the police were still at the stage of wanting to encourage and engage with people and only take action when absolutely necessary.

Full story here.

22nd April 2020 2:13pm

Lincolnshire COVID-19 deaths increase to 129

Coronavirus deaths in Lincolnshire’s hospitals increased to 129 today (April 22) after a further five fatalities were confirmed.

Two deaths were recorded at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, while three were at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundations Trust hospitals.

More details to follow.

22nd April 2020 2:54pm

More hospital deaths in Lincolnshire

Coronavirus deaths in Lincolnshire’s hospitals increased to 129 today (April 22) after a further five fatalities were confirmed.

Two deaths were recorded at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, while three were at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundations Trust hospitals.

Read more here

22nd April 2020 3:03pm

Police investigate Skegness lockdown house party

Lincolnshire Police say they will be speaking to people who attended a Skegness house party in an apparent breach of lockdown rules.

Residents reacted angrily after a photograph of the gathering in Wainfleet Road was circulated on Facebook.

Some locals suggested the group should be fined for breaking the rules and putting unnecessary pressure on the NHS.

Read more here

22nd April 2020 5:04pm

Lincoln Morrisons staff record uplifting ‘Amarillo’ dance video for Peter Kay challenge

Seven staff members from Morrisons in Lincoln stomped and danced along to Tony Christie’s ‘Is This The Way to Amarillo’ after a gruelling shift at the Tritton Road supermarket.

Comedian Peter Kay is recreating his iconic Comic Relief music video and is looking for people to film themselves marching and dancing to the original track with the hashtag #BigNightAmarillo. Those entering will be in with a chance of making the final video for BBC’s Big Night In, which will be played on the live show on April 23.

Becky-Jayne Ritchie, 34, who is a customer assistant at Morrisons, took part in their attempt along with Zoe Smith and five other colleagues. They filmed the video after the store had closed at around 11pm.

Read more here

22nd April 2020 5:22pm

Coronavirus pandemic ‘single biggest greatest challenge’ for armed forces, says Chief of Defence Staff

Tackling the coronavirus pandemic has posed the biggest logistics challenge to the armed forces in 40 years, says the Chief of Defence Staff.

General Nick Carter gave an update on how the army has been out supporting the health service in its fight against COVID-19.

General Carter said officers have been involved in such areas as designing testing centres, building the seven Nightingale Hospitals and providing further support for stretched health service staff.

The forces have also provided support in delivering personal protective equipment to frontline staff, which General Carter described as the “single greatest logistics challenge the armed forces have faced”.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reiterated that the government would continue to be led by science and evidence on lifting lockdown.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” he said.

22nd April 2020 5:28pm

Highest spike in Lincolnshire coronavirus cases, 669 confirmed positive

Lincolnshire has seen its highest daily confirmed cases of coronavirus as a further 76 have been tested positive in the county.

A total fo 669 people have now been tested positive in the county, while 85 have died.

Andrew Morgan, chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, said hospitals are prepared for a surge in cases in May.

Read more here

22nd April 2020 5:30pm

Three-quarters of Lincolnshire COVID-19 victims over 70

Nearly three quarters of those who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Lincolnshire were over the age of 70, all of the victims had underlying health conditions.

Age and gender figures from United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust of those that have died show that the age group has seen the most deaths in the county’s hospitals.

Read more here

22nd April 2020 6:15pm

Lincolnshire Covid-19 testing sites could be replaced by single larger one

Bosses could scrap Lincolnshire’s three testing sites for one larger one and expand their mobile capacity as measures to tackle coronavirus continue.

They have warned the county, however, not to be complacent in the face of reports the Covid-19 pandemic has peaked.

Chairman of the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum Jason Harwin said that in the face of national government’s demands for increased testing numbers plans for a single site were being examined.

He said mobile testing would enable responses to be more flexible and reach some of the more extreme areas of the county without potentially-ill people having to travel long-distances.

Mr Harwin warned against being complacent after experts said the coronavirus pandemic had peaked nationally.

He said bosses were “where we expected to be realistically” and pointed out that the county had previously been a week behind the national average – two weeks behind London.

He said recovery would be a “long haul” but that there would need to be a transition period.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 9:14am

New food larder opens for Lincoln village in need

The Lincoln Community Larder has opened a new site in Welton to help provide basic needs for those who are vulnerable during COVID-19.

The operation will be based at St Mary’s Church in Welton to reach people in vulnerable areas.

Charity operators have said demand for food parcels has increased significantly since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and that it was often too difficult and expensive for villagers to travel to Lincoln for supplies.

Read the full story here

23rd April 2020 10:18am

Testing sites to be scrapped for facility at Lincolnshire Showground

Three coronavirus testing sites look set to be scrapped and replaced by a single facility at Lincolnshire Showground.

The Department of Health announced the plan for the new site last night as officials look to increase testing capacity.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, confirmed that the current three sites would be closed down “if the new facility works well”.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 10:28am

Lincolnshire coast economy to be crippled by Covid-19 pandemic – research

Coastal towns, including Mablethorpe and Skegness, are most economically at risk from the coronavirus crisis, according to new research from the Centre For Towns and the University of Southampton.

According to Sky News, the data shows that coastal and ex-industrial towns are most economically at risk, and the data also indicates that Wales is worst affected, while the South East is faring best.

Half of the coastal towns are among the top 10% most at risk. The top five most at risk coastal towns are Mablethorpe and Skegness in Lincolnshire, as well as Clacton-on-Sea, Bridlignton, and Kinmel Bay in Wales.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 11:45am

150 contact tracers needed in Lincolnshire after lockdown

150 contact tracers will need to be trained in order to tackle the spread of coronavirus in Lincolnshire after lockdown.

Both new and current staff will be trained by Lincolnshire’s public health team to track down and isolate people who have come into contact with positive COVID-19 cases.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said the county would need a bigger team to tackle the scale of the virus.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 11:59am

Lincolnshire community hospitals send staff home with coronavirus symptoms

Several members of staff working at community hospitals in Lincolnshire have been sent home with COVID-19 related symptoms.

The Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is the primary community healthcare provider in the county and runs facilities in Louth, Skegness, Gainsborough and Pinchbeck.

The Trust is taking every prevention precaution possible, but the exact number of staff with symptoms has not yet been disclosed.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 1:55pm

Eight railway trespass incidents in Lincolnshire during lockdown

There have been eight recorded railway trespass incidents in Lincolnshire since lockdown was imposed and Network Rail is warning people in the East Midlands to stay away from the tracks.

Over one third of the trespass incidents recorded in the region since lockdown have involved children or young people. Eight of the incidents took place in Lincolnshire, with four involving children and young people.

Incidents included three youths lineside on bicycles, a man and a child walking lineside and a man and a woman crossing a bridge when a freight train was approaching.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 2:00pm

Some people demand police state-like lockdown crackdown from assistant chief in live chat

Lincolnshire residents used a live question and answer session with the county’s assistant chief constable Kerrin Wilson to call for tougher police state-style enforcement under the coronavirus lockdown.

Questions to the Lincolnshire Police boss on Facebook included calls for roadblocks on the highways to the coast and Wolds and officers, more officers on the streets, all vehicles to be stopped by officers and a harder  hand when it comes to enforcement.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 3:04pm

Nine more COVID-19 deaths in Greater Lincolnshire

A further nine coronavirus deaths have been confirmed at hospitals in Greater Lincolnshire as fatalities in the north of the county pass 50.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust saw the most fatalities with eight recorded at the region’s hospitals.

It means the number of deaths in northern Lincolnshire now stands at 52.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 4:29pm

Police tell off Skegness lockdown revellers

Police have handed out “advice” to people who attended a Skegness house party during the coronavirus lockdown.

Residents reacted angrily after a photograph of the gathering on Wainfleet Road in the town that appeared to breach lockdown rules was circulated on Facebook. The party is understood to have taken place at around 12pm on Monday, April 20. 

Lincolnshire Reporter asked Lincolnshire Police on Thursday whether the people had now been spoken to and what the outcome was, including whether any fines were issued or arrests made.

In response, police said: “Advice has been given on this occasion.”

Read more here

23rd April 2020 4:37pm

More than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 across Lincolnshire

More than 1,000 people have been tested positive for coronavirus across Lincolnshire as case numbers continue to grow.

The Department of Health confirmed that 1,034 cases had been recorded in the wider county with a death toll of 138.

712 have been found in Lincolnshire, while North Lincolnshire has 218 cases and 104 have been tested in North East Lincolnshire.

Read more here

23rd April 2020 5:30pm

Coronavirus tests to be extended further to essential workers

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced that coronavirus tests will be extended further to essential workers.

Employers of essential workers will be able to book a test for any of their staff that need one online.

Mr Hancock said companies can go to the gov.uk website to book a test and employees will be able to do the same directly by tomorrow (April 24).

Essential workers will be listed on the government website under the same list as schools and education and the whole process will be free.

Mr Hancock said the testing capacity across the country had now been increased from 41,000 to 51,000.

“I want to make it as easy as possible to get a test,” he said.

Mr Hancock also laid out the government’s plan for tracking and tracing virus cases.

He said an antibody study, which will invite 25,000 people to take part, will be carried out in a joint project between the University of Oxford and the Office for National Statistics.

Participants will provide samples to the study and letters will be sent out inviting people to take part.

Mr Hancock urged those who receive one to “take part in this vital research for your country”.

He also announced plans to hire 18,000 contact tracers across the UK.

As previously reported, Lincolnshire will need up to 150 of these tracers in order to halt the spread of the virus after lockdown.

The government is also testing an NHS app which will help to let people know when they have come into “significant contact” with someone who has become unwell.

“These test, track and trace measures will be vital to stop a second peak,” said Mr Hancock.


23rd April 2020 6:36pm

Four trains get special livery to thank NHS staff

Four Northern trains will be operating with new livery from Thursday to thank all NHS staff for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Northern, which has services including routes in Lincoln and some other areas of the county, recently unveiled a new design for four special trains, one of which has been named Key Worker.

The idea to add the design came from Angela Burke, Northern Conductor Team Manager, who wanted to show more appreciation for the NHS.

Read more here

24th April 2020 10:47am

Emergency services visit ‘chalk house’ for this week’s key worker clap

This week’s ‘Clap for Carers’ saw fire engines and police officers gather outside of the ‘chalk house’ in Cherry Willingham.

The owner of the house, Kate Eilidh, sent in this video.

Read the full story here

24th April 2020 10:59am

Breathless Lincoln woman with coronavirus urges people to take COVID-19 seriously

A wheezing supermarket worker in Lincoln who believes she may have coronavirus has appealed to people on camera, urging them to take the disease seriously and stay at home.

Tracy Andrews, 48, works at Morrisons in Lincoln and was frustrated by people coming in to the Tritton Road store to make what she deems as “stupid” purchases. She took to social media to make her feelings known and posted a video in the Facebook group ‘You’re probably from Lincoln if’, which prompted over 380 comments.

Although she hasn’t officially been diagnosed with COVID-19, Tracy has been struggling to catch her breath when talking and her chest hurts, so she has been self-isolating since Sunday. She has also suffered symptoms of a very dry cough, back ache and a very sore throat.

Tracy went to A&E in Lincoln on Thursday, April 23 because of the chest pains, but was told they ‘didn’t want to put her on a ward with patients who had the virus, just in case.’

Read more here

24th April 2020 11:33am

62 COVID-19 patients being treated in northern Lincolnshire hospitals

Sixty-two patients are currently being treated for COVID-19 in northern Lincolnshire hospitals while more than 90 have been discharged so far.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals, confirmed that 62 people who tested positive for coronavirus are receiving care in its hospitals.

It comes as recent days have seen a spike in the number of cases, with 322 people testing positive across the region.

Read more here

24th April 2020 11:53am

Lincolnshire far from hitting 1,000 tests a day expectations

Lincolnshire needs “as many testing options as possible”, health bosses have said as they revealed they had only carried out 100 of the 1000 tests a day they had expected to.

Director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council Derek Ward said Lincolnshire had been expected to have capacity to carry out 1% of the government’s original target – but this had so far not come to pass.

He said the increase in confirmed cases over the past few days from 585 on Monday to 712 yesterday – a jump of 127 – was expected due to more testing of key workers being carried out in the county.

He confirmed around 300 people had been swabbed in the past three days.

Full story here

24th April 2020 3:02pm

More than 90 COVID-19 patients have died in Lincolnshire

More than 90 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in Lincolnshire’s hospitals.

A further five fatalities were confirmed today (April 24) as the death toll reached 91.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said all of those who died had underlying health conditions.

Read more here

24th April 2020 3:12pm

Almost a quarter of Lincoln rough sleepers leave lockdown housing

Just under a quarter of rough sleepers housed in Lincoln at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown have since left the accommodation provided.

Following a government directive at the end of March, the City of Lincoln Council found housing for 21 people sleeping rough.

However, six of those have now left with a spokesman confirming they had “chosen to either return to the streets or lost the accommodation.”

Read more here

24th April 2020 3:39pm

Sleaford lockdown breacher charged over police assaults

A 34-year-old man has been named and charged by police after two officers were injured in an alleged assault in Sleaford.

Lincolnshire Police attended a COVID-19 related complaint on Lincoln Road in Holdingham near Sleaford at 2.11am on Friday morning after a report of loud music and a possible gathering.

Two officers sustained cuts and bruises during the reported assault, which chief inspector Phil Vickers said is “not part of the job” and “not acceptable”.

The 34-year-old man was arrested and taken into custody. He has since been named by police as Samuel Simpkins, of Meadowfield, Sleaford.

Read more here

24th April 2020 4:09pm

More COVID-19 cases confirmed across Lincolnshire

52 more people have tested positive for coronavirus across Lincolnshire, taking the total number to 1,086.

In Lincolnshire, total cases have increased to 725 after 13 more have been found.

Meanwhile, in northern Lincolnshire a further 39 have tested positive in North Lincolnshire and 10 in North East Lincolnshire.

Across the county, 1,086 have now been confirmed.

Earlier today, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust confirmed that 62 patients were currently being treated for COVID-19 in its hospitals.

24th April 2020 4:31pm

Fire crews called to increasing bonfire false alarms during lockdown

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue have been called out to close to 80 false alarm incidents caused by bonfires during the coronavirus lockdown.

Last week alone, crews in the county attended incidents including in Gainsborough, Gedney Hill and Sibsey. These incidents are using up valuable resources for fire crews in the county and putting additional pressure on the emergency services.

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue have compared the figures from March 24, 2020 until April 20 with the same four week period of 2019, with the latest figures more than double compared with last year.

In 2019, they had 30 false alarms incidents caused by bonfires. Although the figure for the same period in 2020 is much higher at 77, they were all from callers with good intentions thinking there really was a fire.

Read more here

24th April 2020 4:38pm

Nearly 100 Lincoln student nurses join NHS coronavirus crisis front line

Nearly 100 final year student nurses from the University of Lincoln will be joining the front line NHS Lincolnshire teams to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The student nurses will be joining all three Lincolnshire healthcare providers at the end of April following a national call for nurses-in-training to step up and serve in the fight against coronavirus.

They will play important roles in supporting acute hospitals, community services, and mental health and learning disability services. They will be matching their skills to meet particular needs in the local area.

Read more here

24th April 2020 4:55pm

Lincoln school provides face masks for police staff

The police control centre in Lincoln has been provided with 200 face visors made by a local school.

Sir Robert Pattinson Academy in Hykeham made the masks for the Nettleham police HQ call centre after a plea from the police and crime commissioner.

Read the full story here

24th April 2020 5:08pm

Blue Lincoln Cathedral prints raise £2k for mental health charity

Over £2,000 has been raised for an NHS mental health charity through the sale of canvas prints of Lincoln Cathedral.

The pictures depict the cathedral in the famous blue colours of the NHS to honour key workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Over 400 of these canvases have already been sold, with that number constantly on the rise.

Read the full story here

24th April 2020 5:15pm

Local band release new charity single with all proceeds going to the NHS

A Lincoln-based rock band are donating all the money they generate from their latest single to the NHS.

Carry The Crown’s new single ‘Never Be The Same’ was released today and every penny they earn will be going to NHS charities in the fight against coronavirus.

Listen to it on Spotify or Apple Music, or watch the music video on YouTube.

24th April 2020 5:16pm

Today’s update from Lincolnshire County Council

Leader of Lincolnshire County Council Martin Hill and Chief Executive Debbie Barnes give an update on the coronavirus work the authority is doing. Today (Friday, April 24) topics cover volunteers, funding, testing, care homes, helplines and business support.

24th April 2020 5:17pm

Police assaults spike amidst lockdown: Staff punched, spat at and bitten

Police officers in Lincolnshire have been subjected to 36 assaults by 29 suspects – including threats to “infect” staff with coronavirus – in the four weeks since the government lockdown began.

Incidents since March 24 also include things like elbowing staff, punching, head butting, spitting and biting.

Deputy Chief Constable at Lincolnshire Police Jason Harwin said:  “Any assault against any emergency worker is not acceptable, and quite rightly, those that have taken the action to do so have been dealt with and will have to go through the criminal justice system.

“Emergency services are already strained and the last thing they need is to be assaulted when they’re trying to protect the public, not just in the traditional sense but also within the context of Covid-19.”

Read more here

24th April 2020 5:18pm

Transport Secretary announces new transport package, including drones trial

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, has announced a new national transport package to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Shapps outlined new measures, which includes an agreement to keep ferry routes open and a trial for drones to deliver medical supplies.

He also announced plans to continue air links between Belfast and Londonderry and to protect freight routes Britain, France and other European countries.

A Transport Support Unit will be set up using free capacity made available by the lockdown to use volunteers and vehicles to support the vulnerable by distributing such things as food parcels.

Meanwhile, Mr Shapps also confirmed there are now no British holidaymakers stranded on cruise ships abroad.


25th April 2020 3:34pm

Four more COVID-19 deaths

Four more people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in Lincolnshire’s hospitals.

Three died in Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust hospitals, while one person died at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

It means the death tolls stands at 147:

  • Lincolnshire – 92
  • Northern Lincolnshire – 55

25th April 2020 4:24pm

More details on Lincolnshire COVID-19 death

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has released more details on a COVID-19 death confirmed at its hospitals today (April 25).

The fatality takes the county’s death toll up to 92.

A spokesperson for ULHT said: “Sadly we can confirm that one further patient who was being cared for in our hospitals, and had tested positive for COVID-19, has died.

“The patient was a woman aged 97 who had underlying health conditions.

“Her family has been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.”


26th April 2020 4:18pm

COVID-19: Lincolnshire deaths top 150

More than 150 people have died in Lincolnshire’s hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus.

A further seven were confirmed today (April 26), two recorded at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and five at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

Read more here