October 23, 2020 11.13 am This story is over 42 months old

Warning as Lincolnshire expected to go into tier 2 soon

It could be less than a month

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.

The county is currently on the lowest tier (medium), which means it is subject to the general measures of tackling COVID, such as the 10pm hospitality curfew and the rule of six.

A chart of Lincolnshire’s cases up to October 22.

However, Lincolnshire borders tier 3 lockdowns in South Yorkshire, while to the west Newark and Sherwood district of Nottinghamshire has reportedly escaped the fate of some of its neighbours in going up to the highest level of restrictions.

Mr McGinty said: “I believe that more areas of the country, including potentially some areas of Lincolnshire, may be asked to consider going up a tier, or we may decide that we simply need to go up to tier to get to get additional control measures in place.

“That will be happening all over the country over the coming weeks now.” It is understood this could happen by the end of November.

Mr McGinty said more “sensitive” local control measures were still the best way forward for now, but added “the time may come where that isn’t feasible anymore”.

“The longer that we can allow areas that can manage it to have more economic, social and well-being freedom, the better.

“We face a very long winter otherwise, if we go to the higher levels of restrictions earlier than we need to.”

Lincolnshire is tier 1 – medium – lockdown.

Although there is no published criteria for which areas move up and down a tier, it is understood to include those areas with a rate of more than 100-150 cases a week per 100,000, as well as how long they have been in that bracket.

According to the latest 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.

The worst affected parts of the Greater Lincolnshire region include New Waltham (409.5) and the Great Coates and The Willows (482.5) areas in the Grimsby area.

Greater Lincolnshire is doing much better than its neighbours for COVID-19 infection rates but numbers are rising rapidly.

In Lincoln, the Wharf and University (337.7) and Boultham and New Boultham (323.5) areas have the highest infection rates in the most recent figures.

However, health bosses warn that the more local you get with figures, the more variation you might see on a week-to-week basis.

This number can also be hugely affected by the density of population, as well as smaller localised outbreaks in locations such as a schools, care homes or factories.