Uncertainty around growing coronavirus cases and future plans mean health bosses can’t accurately predict where the Lincolnshire will land post-lockdown, but they believe it will “probably” be in a higher tier.
Just before the start of the second lockdown on November 5, Lincolnshire remained in tier one (medium) after talks about moving up a tier (two – high) alongside North and North East Lincolnshire, who entered the second tier the week before. Nottinghamshire was also moving into tier three (very high) at the time.
Tony McGinty told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: “It’s fairly clear we are going to be in a higher tier probably coming out than going in because our rates have increased so much.”
However, he said it was “really important to understand that the tier system might be slightly different”.
Speaking afterwards to The Lincolnite, Tony McGinty explained: “It’s difficult to tell because if the tier system and the numbers that are put in place are the same on the other side of this lockdown as they were going in, then I could make a reasonable prediction of where we might land.
“But I’ll be honest I’m not sure that is going to be exactly the same on the other side of the lockdown, so it’s difficult to predict at the moment where the new tiering system would fit and how Lincolnshire will land in it.”
He said there was a “lot of debate” nationally and through public health organisations across the country about what the system should look like coming out.
Health bosses’ latest seven day figures show that up to November 15, 24,436 tests were carried out, with 2,421 people coming back positive — a rate of 9.9%. Mr McGinty added that 948 of those were people aged over 60.
The figures put Lincolnshire along a national average of 299.1 per 100,000 population.
East Lindsey District Council and Boston Borough Council currently sit at the top of the table in Lincolnshire for highest infection rates.
Bosses are calling on people in those areas to remember “our fate is in our own hands” and keep to the guidelines.
This includes not travelling into North East Lincolnshire — now one of the highest infection rates in the country — for shopping or leisure purposes.
Lincolnshire Police’s Chief Superintendent Paul Timmins said that many were seeing the good news around vaccines as a “light at the end of the tunnel” but warned people not to get complacent.
“For me this is the most critical part of this whole crisis that we maintain our vigilance around COVID,” he said.
“Because we’ve got a vaccination coming we want to keep the numbers of people with it as low as possible so we can get the vaccination to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”