As Greater Lincolnshire looks to a new year, December has seen a record number of COVID-19 related deaths, but cases of the virus have dropped significantly.
Figures for Thursday, December 31, show there were 411 cases confirmed on New Year’s Eve and 13 deaths.
The final figures for the month mean there were 25,347 cases confirmed in December, down 4,223 from November and also lower than October.
However, there were 545 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test result, up 138 from November’s figures.
The government’s COVID-19 dashboard for Thursday recorded 292 new cases in Lincolnshire, 67 in North Lincolnshire and 52 in North East Lincolnshire.
Lincolnshire passed the 25,000 case mark.
Some nine deaths were registered in Lincolnshire, two in North Lincolnshire and two in North East Lincolnshire. These figures include deaths both in and out of hospitals, as well as residents in hospitals outside the county.
NHS England reported two new local hospital deaths on Thursday, including one at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and one at United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT). Hospitals have seen 294 COVID-related deaths since December 1 – up 54 on November’s figures.
On Thursday, national cases increased by a record-breaking 55,892 to 2,488,780, while deaths rose by 964 to 73,512.
Lincolnshire moved to tier 4 on Thursday, but North and North East Lincolnshire have remained in tier 3.
It means people have extra new restrictions to familiarise themselves with.
Lincolnshire’s leaders said they “understood” the changes but that the new rules would “come as a further huge challenge for residents and businesses”.
City of Lincoln Council leader Councillor Ric Metcalfe said: “We will be doing our very best to keep council services going throughout the coming weeks. ”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for South Kesteven District Council said there was “no choice.”
“It’s disappointing that we find ourselves in this position, but the safety of residents must come first.
“By adhering to the guidelines we protect ourselves, we protect others and we will help prevent our health services from being overwhelmed.”
Lincolnshire County Council leader Councillor Martin Hill said his authority would continue to press for “necessary support”.
“However, we can’t ignore the increasing pressure on hospitals, and I urge everyone to stick to the new restrictions. Keep to the hands, face, space guidelines, and, if you develop any symptoms, no matter how mild, then please self-isolate and get tested.”
They all praised the newest vaccine to be approved on Wednesday from Oxford University/AstraZeneca.
Calls from councils also included urging people to spend New Year’s Eve at home — however, cautioned the use of fireworks to celebrate.
If you're seeing off 2020 with a few fireworks in the garden, consider using low noise or quiet fireworks & #notifyyourneighbours
— EastLindseyDC (@EastLindseyDC) December 31, 2020
If you're celebrating the New Year with fireworks, stay safe and avoid a visit from us or @EMASNHSTrust tonight. Let's start 2021 as we mean to go on! #2021 #HappyNewYear2021 pic.twitter.com/j94ouXN8QE
— Lincs Fire & Rescue (@LincsFireRescue) December 31, 2020
Elsewhere in the UK, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England had increased by 33% week-on-week, according to the latest data.
According to Test and Trace, a total of 232,169 people tested positive in the week to December 23 — the highest weekly total since the scheme began in May.
Nightingale hospital sites across England including London, Manchester, Bristol, Sunderland, Harrogate, Exeter and Birmingham are all reportedly being readied to tackle the spike in cases.
Military personnel have also been put on standby if needed in order to help deliver vaccines and other healthcare.
Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire for Thursday, December 31
37,404 cases (up 411)
- 25,228 in Lincolnshire (up 292)
- 6,121 in North Lincolnshire (up 67)
- 6,055 in North East Lincolnshire (up 52)
1,440 deaths (up 13)
- 1,012 from Lincolnshire (up nine)
- 221 from North Lincolnshire (up two)
- 207 from North East Lincolnshire (up two)
of which 851 hospital deaths (up two)
- 501 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up one)
- 22 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
- 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
- 327 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (up one)
2,488,780 UK cases, 73,512 deaths