Social distancing “should be in place until vaccine found”
Lincolnshire has passed the peak of the first coronavirus wave, but residents should expect social distancing measures to be in place until a vaccine is found health bosses have said.
Director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council Derek Ward, said figures for the county show it has been affected by Covid-19 significantly less than elsewhere in the country.
Lincolnshire has so far had 830 confirmed cases, compared to other East Midlands areas such as Leicestershire (950), Nottinghamshire (1,150) and Derbyshire (1,300).
Mr Ward pointed out that despite far higher levels of testing last week – with around 1,100 carried out county-wide on Friday, the county had only seen around 100 new cases – significantly lower than previous weeks.
Three further Covid-19 related deaths reported in Lincolnshire hospitals
Three further people with Covid-19 have died in Lincolnshire’s hospitals.
The latest report brings the total in Lincolnshire to 111.
A spokesman for United Lincolnshire Hospitals trust said: “Sadly we can confirm that three further patients who were being cared for in our hospitals, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.
“The patients were a woman aged 94 and two men aged 78 and 79. Both had underlying health conditions.
“Their families have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.”
No new deaths were reported at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals leaving the tally there at 72.
A further 204 people have died in England’s hospitals, bringing the total to 21,384.
4th May 2020 4:02pm
Lincolnshire Showground explores drive-in cinema and gigs
Bosses at the Lincolnshire Showground are exploring the idea of a drive-in cinema, sporting event screenings and virtual experiences including festivals and an antiques fair, as they adapt to the coronavirus crisis.
Jayne Southall, who is the CEO at the Lincolnshire Showground, told The Lincolnite she has already had discussions with various event organisers about the different possibilities available.
The 275 acre showground, which is run by the charity Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, has also been acting as a coronavirus testing centre. Jayne feels the venue has an important role to play in bringing the community back together.
Health secretary Matt Hancock launches new pilot as plans to tackle coronavirus progress
The government will trial a new tracking app on the Isle of Wight as it moves forward with its latest plans to tackle coronavirus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the government’s daily briefing that the number of people who had died with confirmed coronavirus had risen by 288 across all settings in the UK, bringing the total to 28,734.
The figure is the lowest number since March, however, Mr Hancock said they were expecting it to rise.
There are 190,584 confirmed cases in the UK, a rise of 3,985
“This is not just a number, but a constant and insistent reminder we must go further and faster than ever in dealing with this virus.”
He said a total of 85,186 tests had been carried out on Sunday, and that the government was now in a position to carry out its “test, track and trace” programme.
The pilot will see residents on the isle asked to download the NHS app, which will show who has been in contact with each other when they register any symptoms.
Mr Hancock said this will enable the government to take a “more targeted approach” the lockdown, however, he added: “This does not mean the end of social distancing.”
“Our plan is to slow the spread and protect the NHS so it’s always there for you and your family when you need it,” he said.
“By downloading this app, you are protecting your own health, that of your loved ones and the health of your community.”
Mr Hancock’s briefing comes amid reports in the media suggesting the government will this week begin easing lockdown pressures and help people get back to work.
The measures include plans to reduce hot-desking and alternatives to social distancing where it is not possible.
However, unions have expressed concerns over workers’ safety.
5th May 2020 10:26am
Skegness seal sanctuary needs £25k to help it survive COVID-19
A seal sanctuary in Skegness is trying to raise £25,000 to help ensure it can be back up and running once the coronavirus crisis is over.
Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary first opened in 1965 and is a family-run business with three generations of the Yeadon family managing the site. It is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 so it’s only form of income has stopped.
Each seal that the sanctuary rescues costs around £2,000 to fully rehabilitate, but it said it does not receive any exterior grants or government funding. It relies purely on visitors to the site and their donations.
Could Lincolnshire be another track and trace app pilot?
Health bosses feel Lincolnshire could be used as another pilot area for the test, track and trace app due to be trialled on the Isle of Wight.
The county’s rurality, broadband issues, and number of residents without access to technology would present their own challenges that would need to be ironed out, said Tony McGinty assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council.
The trial was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock during Monday’s national government press conference.
“Lincolnshire’s got some particular characteristics to test with,” said Mr McGinty.
“It’s not going to be a one-size fits all for anywhere probably and certainly not for Lincolnshire with our demography, geography, sparsity and all those issues.”
Six men were arrested after police carried out a string of early-morning raids in the Gainsborough area on Tuesday.
The men – aged 19, 20, 27, 29, 39, and 49 – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and they remain in custody at the time of publication.
Five warrants were executed in Gainsborough and another in North Lincolnshire. It was one of Lincolnshire Police’s largest operations in recent years, which was supported by their colleagues from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit.
Lincolnshire Police staff, including pregnant woman, test positive for COVID-19
Five staff at Lincolnshire Police, including a pregnant woman, have tested positive for coronavirus during lockdown.
The affected employees are a mix of police officers, PSCOs and police staff. The most recent COVID-19 test result was received on Monday, May 4.
Kerrin Wilson, Assistant Chief Constable at Lincolnshire Police, told Lincolnshire Reporter that she has personally spoken to all five members of staff to offer re-assurance and allay any concerns they may have.
Council bosses mourn loss of trade for nearly 25% of businesses as £200m handed out in grants
Lincolnshire bosses have mourned the closure of nearly a quarter of the county’s businesses as nearly £200 million has been paid out to support the economy.
Lincolnshire County Council’s executive portfolio holder for economy Councillor Colin Davie told the authority’s executive during a live virtual meeting that £198.7 million had been handed out so far by district and unitary councils – around 80% of the money available.
However, he said “significant changes” to the economy were ahead as the county has lost nearly a total of 24% of businesses had “closed or ceased to trade”, at least temporarily, under the coronavirus pandemic.
“To me this is the greatest area of concern,” said Councillor Davie, adding the majority were in hospitality and tourism.
Government warning as hackers exploit coronavirus crisis
The UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has warned that cyber criminals are exploiting the current coronavirus crisis.
Mr Raab said: “Whilst the vast majority of countries have come together and rallied, there will always be some that seek to exploit a crisis for their own ends”.
Mr Raab said there was growing evidence that hackers were targeting national and international organisations involved in the fight against Covid-19.
He said there were a range of motives for the cyber attacks from fraud to espionage and that some attacks could involve the stealing of data or be linked with “state actors”.
He said government was working with potential and actual targets to ensure they were aware of the threat ad taking steps to mitigate the impact.
The UK and US have issued a joint warning.
During the briefing, Mr Raab also said there had been a further 693 deaths across the UK, bringing the total to 29,427.
A total of 1,383,840 tests had been carriedout nationwide, with 194,990 people now confirmed to have had Coronavirus.
However, he said: “We continue to see evidence of a flattening but it’s not over yet.
He warned the next stage would “not be easy” as people adjusted to a “new normal”.
5th May 2020 5:31pm
Lincoln lockdown party ends with arrest and fine
One man was arrested and another fined as police attended a lockdown party in Lincoln on Monday.
The specific location and number of people attending the party has not yet been disclosed. However, Kerrin Wilson, Assistant Chief Constable at Lincolnshire Police told The Lincolnite that a man was issued with a fine and another was arrested for being obstructive.
The fixed penalty notice was one of three fines issued recently by Lincolnshire Police. These also included one issued to a person in Ludborough, who had travelled from Skegness to look at a car for sale.
Covid-19 fatalities memorial event plans “part of recovery thinking”
Plans for a commemoration to give families unable to grieve properly during the lockdown a chance to do so when recovery begins are being put in place.
As the pandemic has continued, many families have been unable to organise or hold funerals or even visit their dying relatives.
Assistant director for public health Tony McGinty said: “We have started a process looking at how, when we recover from all this and bring communities back together, we can give people the opportunity to grieve properly and collectively.
“That’s definitely part of the thinking for our recovery plans that we’ll be looking to try to offer some public way for people to remember loved ones who fell victim to this.”
The details of the event are yet to be confirmed.
So far in Lincolnshire, 114 people diagnosed with coronavirus have died in the county’s hospitals, while 19 more have sadly passed away in care homes.
6th May 2020 11:19am
Lincoln tech firm makes smart vibrating wristband for post-lockdown social distancing
Lincoln tech company Tended is launching a smart wrist strap to help maintain social distancing for those working in construction, manufacturing, infrastructure and logistics.
The solution incorporates Tended’s current wearable safety wrist strap with an ultra-wideband proximity sensor, which can automatically notify workers if they come within a two metre (or other pre-set) distance of each other.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested that coronavirus lockdown restrictions could be eased from Monday during his first Prime Minister’s Questions since returning to office.
The PM has said a statement will be made on Sunday, May 10 outlining initial plans for ‘unlockdown’.
In addition to setting a new national target of 200,000 tests a day by the end of the month, he indicated that possible changes from Monday could including allowing more outdoor activities and clearer paths for businesses to bring employees back to work, with looser social distancing.
A lockdown review will be carried out on Thursday, but the Prime Minister said he wished to have the most recent data possible at hand before announcing anything to the public on Sunday.
He faced criticism from MPs, who felt they would not have the opportunity to scrutinise the plans before they are announced. Johnson said there would be opportunity for the Commons to interrogate him “at a later date.”
6th May 2020 4:00pm
University’s COVID-19 campaign tops £90k in donations
A PPE project by University of Lincoln has raised more than £90,000 in donations to help frontline NHS staff.
The engineering team is currently producing over 700 safety visors per week for key workers.
As well as this, the university’s design has made more than 600 sets of scrubs for hospitals, GP practices and care homes across the county, in support of the national For The Love of Scrubs project.
UK first country in Europe to pass 30,000 deaths as health bosses say trend is “slowly going down”
The UK’s death toll has passed the 30,000 mark today as a further 649 were confirmed during the Downing Street briefing today.
It means it is the first country in Europe to record more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told those attending that 69,463 tests had been carried out nationally yesterday, again missing the Government’s 100,000 a day target, but bringing the total number of tests carried out to 1,448,010.
“These numbers will be heart-breaking losses for the loved ones of all those who have died,” he said.
“Once again, our thoughts are with those loved ones.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at Prime Minister’s Questions earlier today he had an ambition to reach 200,000 capacity by the end of May.
201,101 people ave tested positive for the virus – an increase nationally of 6,111 – with 13,615 currently in hospital.
During the briefing, Mr Jenrick took questions from local media, who he praised for “doing so much to keep people informed”.
He also updated people on the work his department had done, including the work of local resilience forums and the £3.2bn handed to local councils during the pandemic.
He said 67,000,000 pieces of PPE had been delivered by the forums across the nation.
Marking necessary changes to planned VE Day celebrations, he told those watching that the mission was “to ensure everything we can do is done to help people go back to work safely and to reunite friends”.
Viewers were told by Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, that while the number of deaths was not “good news” the trend was that it was “slowly going down”.
6th May 2020 9:50pm
More Covid-19 deaths recorded at Lincolnshire hospitals
Two more deaths were reported at Lincolnshire NHS hospitals in 24 hours, a week after the last day without fatalities.
A spokesperson for ULHT said: “Sadly we can confirm that two further patients who were being cared for in our hospitals, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died. This brings the total number of deaths in ULHT hospitals to 114.
“The patients were a woman aged 83 and a man aged 87. Both had underlying health conditions.
“Their families have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.”
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals also saw one new COVID-19 death reported.
NHS England announced 331 new coronavirus deaths today, bringing the number of hospital fatalities in the country to 30,076.
Lincolnshire health bosses are looking at carrying out a comemoration event for people who have lost loved ones during the recovery phase.
7th May 2020 10:21am
Residents urged to “temper excitement” over planned ease of lockdown
Residents excited about the prospect of lockdown restrictions being lifted – particularly the most vulnerable – will need to “temper their expectations” according to health bosses.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce his plan for easing restrictions on Sunday as deaths continue in the pandemic.
Yesterday, death rates rose above the 30,000 mark – the first country in Europe to do so.
Director of Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council Derek Ward said the news was “a tragedy” – however reiterated that the authority’s figures were some of the lowest.
In Lincolnshire, there have been 896 confirmed cases and 116 overall Covid-19 related deaths reported – around a third of the average East Midlands rates.
Mr Ward said he expected changes to be “gradual and slowly implemented”.
“It’s not going to be a big ‘right we’re switching off and everything’s going to be back to how it was’,” he said.
COVID-19 deaths in Lincolnshire reach 250 after latest figures released
Deaths in Greater Lincolnshire have exceeded the 250 mark following the latest figures from Lincolnshire County Council and NHS England.
Lincolnshire County Council’s chief executive Debbie Barnes earlier confirmed that 54 deaths of coronavirus-positive patients had taken place in the authority’s care homes, while the latest national statistics revealed an additional three deaths in hospitals.
It means the breakdown is as follows:
115 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up from 114)
Two at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (remains level to previous)
79 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (up from 77)
54 in Lincolnshire County Council-managed care homes (up from 19)
North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire have both been asked for their latest care home figures.
7th May 2020 4:20pm
Green waste opening date for Lincolnshire’s tips confirmed
An opening date for Lincolnshire’s tips to begin taking green waste and wood has been confirmed.
Lincolnshire County Council waste recycling centres will allow their first visitors on Monday, May 18.
The authority has launched an online system with the first bookings taken from 10am on Monday, May 11.
Council leader Martin Hill said: “I’m sure you will welcome the news that we are preparing to open up our household waste and recycling centres once again.
“The centres will not be running in the same way as before the coronavirus pandemic.
£16 million fund to provide meals to vulnerable announced
Government ministers have announced a £16 million fund to help food charities provide meals for those in need.
Environment secretary George Eustice confirmed the extra money during the government’s daily briefing on Friday.
The programme will provide millions of meals over the next 12 weeks and be delivered through charities including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme).
The government says at least 5,000 frontline charities and community groups in England will benefit, including refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services.
During the briefing, Mr Eustice also revealed that a total of 31,241 people have now died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus – an increase of 626 people since yesterday.
He confirmed that 1,631,561 tests had now been carried out, with 97,029 completed yesterday.
This means the government has missed its testing targets for the sixth consecutive day.
A total of 211,364 people have now tested positive – an increase of 4,639.
He also confirmed 31,241 people had sadly died – an increase of 626.
Mr Eustice also referenced the 75th anniversary of VE Day, saying it was “important to pause and remember”.
9th May 2020 2:44pm
The curve is flattening: Only one COVID-19 death in Lincolnshire today
A spokesperson for ULHT said:
“Sadly we can confirm that one further patient who was being cared for in one of our hospitals, and had tested positive for COVID-19, has died. This brings the total number of deaths in ULHT hospitals to 117.
“The patient was a woman aged 77 who had underlying health conditions.
“Her family has been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.”
10th May 2020 2:20pm
No new COVID-19 deaths in our region to report in the last 24 hours
Just a few more cases confirmed too
11th May 2020 8:05am
Three more cases registered overnight
Three more cases have been registered in Lincolnshire overnight.
The statistics were changed after yesterday’s (Sunday’s) numbers were released with ULHT hospitals adding one more from its 916 for a total of 917.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals changed from 424 to 426 overnight, while North East Lincolnshire stayed at 139.