Lincoln was on COVID-19 “red list” due to Newark outbreak

Lincoln was on a COVID-19 “red list” for a week due to an outbreak of the virus at a factory in Newark which spilled over the border in Lincolnshire, but health bosses say the city is no longer on the watchlist.

So far 24 employees and three family members who live in Lincolnshire tested positive for coronavirus from the outbreak at the Bakkavor Desserts factory.

The sudden increase in cases means Lincoln has been on the “red list” for a week — the longest an authority in Lincolnshire has been.

South Kesteven also appeared in the danger zone for a few days for the same reason but has since dropped off.

Council bosses are adamant, however, that there are no other major concerns in the county apart from the factory outbreak.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said anyone connected with the new cases should have been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service by now.

The factory has carried out more than 800 tests so far and found 76 cases. It has more than 1,600 employees.

Lincolnshire has so far had 2,626 cumulative confirmed cases and the official government dashboard shows 23 new cases this week.

Mr McGinty said the trend at the moment was around three or four a day based on the historic data.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health, said: “I want to make clear Lincoln is no longer on this ‘red list’ from Public Health England.

“Residents can be assured that there is no cause for concern.

“The reason Lincoln was highlighted is because it is close to Newark where the outbreak at Bakkavor has occurred and of course, some of the staff affected live in Lincolnshire.

“Most of these come from the Lincoln district itself, which has pushed our numbers up from a very low base. But I can confirm PHE no longer have Lincoln on this list.

“Those Lincolnshire staff affected by the Bakkavor case are self-isolating and are being supported. Lincolnshire continues to have very low number of COVID-19 cases and there is no cause for concern.

“But it’s important we aren’t complacent – people should continue to follow guidance on social distancing rules, the wearing of masks and washing hands regularly.”

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