October 23, 2020 4.24 pm This story is over 37 months old

Two new COVID-19 testing sites planned for Lincolnshire

Locations close to “higher risk neighbouring areas”

New coronavirus testing sites will be set up in Grantham and Gainsborough in a bid to get better access for residents.

Lincolnshire’s assistant director of public health confirmed that the Department for Health and Social care was looking at the sites in order to up capacity during the winter months.

He said the locations were close to “higher risk neighbouring areas” which saw higher footfall due to work and shopping.

A spokesman said: “Officials have targeted additional testing sites in this area as part of planned expansion and these two sites will give better access.”

Mr McGinty said: “In the last seven days, 14,000 tests have been done in Lincolnshire so people are definitely taking up the capacity and that will have had something to do with the increasing numbers.

“We are planning more sites to make access easier for other communities through the winter.”

There are already testing sites in central Lincoln (walk-through), Lincolnshire Showground (drive-through) and Grimsby (drive-through).

According to government data, Lincolnshire’s latest seven-day rate was 102.1 per 100,000.

Meanwhile North East Lincolnshire was 229.4 and North Lincolnshire was 159.

At a district level, Lincoln (166.2), South Kesteven (112.3) and Boston (106.9) all sit within the criteria level.

West Lindsey’s rate is 78.4, below the figure which would cause concern, however, it is bordered by South Yorkshire which is in tier 3.

Lincoln and South Kesteven face another tier three on their borders if Nottinghamshire was put under toughest measures. So far, however, Newark and Sherwood is understood to have avoided that fate.

Health bosses expect more areas of the UK to go into higher tiers in the coming weeks, including potentially “some areas of Lincolnshire”.

Assistant director of public health Tony McGinty said there were “no discussions” currently ongoing with government agencies about numbers in Lincolnshire.

However, he said numbers of COVID cases will continue to increase.

On Thursday, the total number across Greater Lincolnshire passed the 4,000 mark — nearly five times September’s figure of 820.