Lincolnshire’s health bosses say the county is holding up well despite a continued rise in cases.
Over the past seven days there have been 605 new cases in Lincolnshire and nine people have died from COVID-related illnesses.
There are also 68 schools currently managing coronavirus, while 85 University of Lincoln students have tested positive.
Assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council Tony McGinty said: “Generally there’s still an upward trend in line with the national figures, but our overall infection rate, cumulatively, is still quite a lot lower.”
England is currently at 1,118 cases per 100,000, but Lincolnshire is at 670 since the pandemic began.
“It’s good that we’re still managing to hold on to that and our real-time rates also are generally running lower than a lot of areas, much lower than some of the areas that have got significant problems at the moment,” said Mr McGinty.
He said there were a number of indicators being watched, including infection rates over seven and 14 day periods, the risk to the older and vulnerable people, the number of tests being done, how many are coming back positive, and any numbers flagged for an “unknown reason”.
He said at district level numbers were also “well within the limits,” but added they change rapidly and were “quite sensitive” to sudden changes such as outbreaks at care homes or in schools, which could “push the numbers over the tolerance level for a short period to time”.
The number of university students with COVID-19 will continue to rise, said Mr McGinty.
However, he added it was still in a period of time where cases may be being brought into the county by students, rather than them catching it here.
He said the numbers were still relatively low compared to the 30,000 student population across the county.
Anecdotal evidence of students hosting gatherings sparked a call by Mr McGinty for issues to be reported to the city’s two universities.
He said the universities, however, had a “strong grip” on the pandemic.
No COVID-19 breaches have been confirmed by any organisation so far.
“Half-term holidays are fine but remember the rules,” Mr McGinty said. It comes as Wales has announced it is launching a circuit breaker lockdown over half-term.
England is not, yet, following suit and Lincolnshire will remain in its current tier over the holidays. Mr McGinty said there was “no reason why you can’t take the kids away for a couple of days.”
However, he urged people to “keep that focus on those basics about hands, space, face. That will go an awful long way to keep you safe wherever you go.
“If you get a chance to have a break with the kids over the weekend, or the half term holiday, then do so — but just keep yourself safe.”