November 6, 2020 10.53 am This story is over 13 months old

Lincolnshire infection rate “still low” despite surge in COVID cases

Health bosses say they’re not concerned by record new cases

Despite a surge in the number of cases this week, health bosses are unconcerned and say Lincolnshire’s infection rate is still low with some areas actually dropping in numbers.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward said the 643 cases confirmed on Thursday — which include 300 for the county itself, 253 for North East Lincolnshire and 90 for North Lincolnshire — were “old data” and catch-up on outbreaks.

“There’s no particular reason [for the numbers] and I’m not overly worried because it is not a pattern,” he said.

“The most recent data is showing a drop again in some of our numbers or certainly a levelling out in some of our numbers,” he added.

“When you look at the seven day rolling average, it gets rid of a lot of these ups and downs.”

Under the seven-day figures Lincolnshire, sits has 160 cases per 100,000 people, down from 187. The national figure for England is 231 per 100k.

At a lower level, three districts councils currently stand around the 200 mark, including East Lindsey, Lincoln and North Kesteven.

“There’s no question that overall the rates across the county are continuing to increase, albeit relatively slowly and not what we saw in terms of exponential growth right at the beginning [of the pandemic], “ said Professor Ward.

“But I’d expect the lockdown to have a positive impact.”

Professor Ward also noted a drop off in the number of young people getting positive tests since late October.

He said this was potentially down to students getting settled in, but denied it was similar to freshers’ flu, because it affected all students.

He added: “The students are doing a fantastic job with isolating, they’re getting a test if they are feeling out of sorts.

“So even if they’ve got very mild symptoms they’re getting the test. If they’re positive, they’re isolating and that tends to kill off the virus.

Professor Ward said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the second lockdown resulting in a flattening out in numbers as it entered its second day, but admitted it “feels different” due to schools and universities still operating.

He added it was still early days, with no real impact on figures due to be visible for another seven to 10 days.

He also reminded people that the NHS was “open for business” this time round.

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