January 12, 2021 10.26 am This story is over 8 months old

“Stay at home or face longer lockdowns,” local health boss warns

Rising numbers could extend restrictions

Health bosses in Lincolnshire have warned that if people do not stick by the rules, the national lockdown could lasts months — “or even longer”.

The government is due to review the national restrictions after the February half-term, however, numbers continue to spike across England.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said on Monday that the UK is due to go through the “most dangerous time” as vaccines are rolled out, with the next few weeks being “the worst” for the NHS.

Lincolnshire County Council’s director for public health Professor Derek Ward said the county right now was performing better then the rest of the country and had not seen a massive increase in cases lately.

However, he said: “If people don’t stay at home — a legal requirement — if people don’t stick by the rules, and our rates start to go up, we start to see more pressure on the NHS (and it’s already pressured), then it’s going to potentially prolong the lockdown.

“COVID can’t come into your house unless you allow it.

“Equally, if you are one of those people who might have COVID but you’ve not got any symptoms, if you stay in your home during the lockdown period, you will clear the virus, and that means you can’t pass it on to anybody.”

In the seven days to January 9, Lincolnshire had an infection rate of 267 per 100,000 and sat between 250-300 range for several weeks.

The national average is around the 629.3 area — more than double the local figures.

Professor Whitty’s warnings came as some areas continue to have infection rates of over 1,000 per 100,000 people, such as Barking and Dagenham, Thurrock and Harlow.

Health bosses across the country are also warning people not to get complacent as vaccines are rolled out.

More than 2.4million people have now received their first dose and it is hoped this will start to bring numbers down by the government’s February 15 target.

On Monday, the first of new rapid testing sites also came online in Lincoln and carried out 60 tests on asymptomatic people in its first day, and recording one positive case.

The tests at the LNER stadium can deliver results within an hour via text message and/or email.

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