A single week in December saw Lincolnshire deaths reach 13 times the yearly average, explained local health bosses frustrated with COVID deniers.
Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that the week including December 14 would usually see an average of 23 deaths.
In 2020, there had been 301 deaths, some 13 times the usual figures. “Anybody who says COVID isn’t real, think about those numbers,” he said.
“COVID is a killer, let’s make sure we stick with that hands, face, space message.”
Government figures say 1,241 people in Lincolnshire have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, with 664 having died in the county’s hospitals. Nationally, 94,580 deaths have been recorded.
Professor Ward said the figure was higher than the average excess mortality rates.
“We were fortunate with the first wave, we actually had fewer deaths due to COVID than we thought we might have, given we’ve got an older population, but really sadly we’ve seen quite a lot of deaths over over the winter period.”
The death rate in December saw the Woodhall Spa COVID mortuary activated.
He said it was “hugely frustrating” that people still denied the pandemic but that they were a “tiny, tiny proportion”.
However, he added: “It’s not just about COVID, it’s about the impact… on our NHS.
“All you’ve got to do is look at the hospital situation, or listen to [the news] to realise that if you are unlucky enough to be in a car accident or have a heart attack, if all the beds are full of COVID patients you are not going to get the support that you need from the NHS.
“That’s why it’s really important that we minimise the number of people who’ve got it, because it will have an impact on people who don’t get it but need NHS care.”