October 9, 2020 10.24 am

“More testing still needed,” Lincolnshire health bosses urge government

The highest infection rates are at our borders

Lincolnshire County Council health bosses are still calling on government to expand testing capacity in the region further.

A new walk-through testing centre on the University of Lincoln’s campus opened for the first time this week, with a potential capacity of 750-800 tests per day.

It joins the existing Lincolnshire Showground drive-through centre, which tests more than 7-8,000 people per week, and mobile units around the county.

Lincolnshire County Council consultant in public health Andy Fox said bosses were in regular contact with the testing sites.

He added: “We’re also having a chat nationally, with the government about any way we can expand testing throughout Lincolnshire.

“So we’re, we’re absolutely trying to leave no stone unturned to make sure we’ve got the ability to identify how much progress we’ve got, not just in the university but throughout Lincolnshire, and then we can take the appropriate action.”

The number of daily confirmed cases across Greater Lincolnshire has been rising in recent days, with 190 positive tests reported on Thursday.

Local numbers include six university students in Lincoln, while a gammon factory in Scunthorpe has seen an outbreak of at least 30 cases.

However, in neighbouring Nottinghamshire, the numbers look even worse as Nottingham now has the highest rate of infection in the country, at 689.1 cases per 100,000 people.

It means the area faces tighter lockdown restrictions under new rules brought in next week. It’s expected to be announced on Monday, with measures coming into force on Wednesday, October 14.

Mr Fox said it was “more important now than ever” to stick to the COVID-19 guidance, including:

  • Washing hands and face
  • Wearing a face covering
  • Self-isolating if you show any symptoms or are told to by track and trace
  • Getting a test if you show symptoms of coronavirus

“This isn’t going to go away until you get a significant percentage of people in the population vaccinated, which we know may take a while, even when we get a vaccine.

“It’s not going to go away overnight, so people do need to self isolate, to get a test if they got symptoms, and then just to follow those in the guidance — hands, face, space — which will protect people if you don’t know you’ve got symptoms, or if you don’t have any symptoms at all.”

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