November 27, 2020 10.34 am This story is over 42 months old

Skegness will get new COVID testing site to tackle outbreak

East Lindsey has fourth highest infection rate in the UK

Health bosses are in discussions with the government about a new COVID-19 testing centre in Skegness, where infection rates are very high, but the exact location has not been confirmed.

Lincolnshire County Council’s director of public health Professor Derek Ward, however, said it was hoped to be around the size of the Lincolnshire Showground testing site.

East Lindsey has the fourth highest infection rate in the country. The government’s most recent seven-day data for the area showed a rate of 443.8 per 100,000 of the population, down from 470.6 the previous day.

Southern neighbour’s Boston have seen their figures drop from 439.9 to 430.4 (number 8 nationally), while along the coast to the north saw North East Lincolnshire decrease from 421.2 to 394.8.

This compares with an England average of 209.1, down from 218.4.

Lincolnshire’s most recent seven-day data. | Data: UK Gov

Skegness already has a mobile testing site, but with the new tier 3 designation for the whole of Lincolnshire, areas with high cases will get a six-week testing capacity boost.

Professor Ward said: “ We were in conversations about increasing our testing capacity anyway, we’ve been good at getting in our requests early and we’ve had pretty good coverage in our mobile testing units.

“We moved one of those into Skegness considering what we were seeing in the district, and on the back of that we had conversations with the government about […] can we actually get a bigger testing facility more permanently whilst we’re still in the pandemic in Skegness?”

He added: “That is progressing well, so I can’t say it’s definitely going to happen, but it’s only progressing well.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward. | Photo: LCC

Grantham and Gainsborough recently started work on new testing sites due to open this month and another has been announced in Boston.

They will join two others at the Lincolnshire Showground and the University of Lincoln, meaning the county will have eight permanent sites.

Around 25,000 tests have been carried out every week across the county. The last seven days showed an 8.4% positivity rate — around 2,100 cases.

It’s down from a 12% positivity rate at the peak of the latest wave between November 17-19.