January 8, 2021 4.23 pm This story is over 8 months old

From 2nd to 341st: How Boston halved its COVID infection rate in a month

50% fewer patients at Pilgrim hospital

In just over a month, Boston’s COVID infection rate has halved, coming down from the second highest in the UK to 341st.

At the end of November 2020, Boston had the second highest infection rate in the UK, according to the government coronavirus dashboard.

However, in just a few weeks, its infection rate has more than halved from 515.9 per 100,000 people on November 30 to 240.8 on January 6.

Part of the reason for Boston’s low ranking is actually a large increase in infection rates in other parts of the UK, such as in the Barking and Dagenham district, which has overtaken Boston with an infection rate of 1,546.2 (as of January 6).

Barking and Dagenham’s infection rate is over three times higher than Boston’s when it was in second place, showing how the virus has grown at a faster rate in certain areas. This means that for every 100 people in that area, nearly two have COVID-19.

Despite this, Boston has seen its infection rate halve and drop to sixth out of the nine Greater Lincolnshire districts, followed by North Lincolnshire (229.8), East Lindsey (175) and North East Lincolnshire (169.2).

Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rates from Nov 30 to Jan 6. | Data: Gov UK / Table: The Lincolnite

Tony McGinty, Assistant Director of Public Health said: “The high rates in Boston a few weeks back were explained by a combination of outbreaks in managed settings like schools and hospitals, the onward transmission of the virus in the households of people involved in the outbreaks, and the generally rising rates across the country.

“The situations driving these changed, partly due to concerted action by local outbreak management partners working with local communities and partly by those in managed settings getting their outbreaks under control. So there has been a real drop in the rates of infection for local people, which is very welcome.”

He added: “Whilst this local improvement has been happening, the situation nationally has become much worse.

“The relative ranking of Boston is better both because we have improved and because everyone else has got worse. So we can’t be complacent and still have to work at keeping local numbers low.”

Andrew Morgan, Chief Executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust told The Lincolnite that on Thursday, there were 217 patients in Lincoln and Boston hospitals – 162 in Lincoln and 55 in Boston Pilgrim.

He said: “If I go back to late November and early December there would have been more than twice as many COVID inpatients at Boston, so we have seen a reduction in the number of inpatients at Boston.”

Cllr Paul Skinner, Leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “Although this is good news, we must all remain cautious as the new virus is starting to impact on us.”

He added: “We must ask everyone to respect the conditions of the lockdown at this time. None of us can afford to be complacent as this new variant can double in just two days.”

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