March 12, 2021 11.05 am This story is over 38 months old

Half of Lincolnshire adults vaccinated as COVID testing ramps up

“We’ve tested more, but we’re finding less”

Nearly half of Lincolnshire’s adult population has been vaccinated, as more COVID tests were carried out in the county, showing lower positivity rates.

Over 300,000 people in the county have now received their first dose of a COVID jab, which is almost half the number of the eligible population (18 years and over) of around 650,000.

Some 94,000 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the seven days up to March 9 in Lincolnshire, “a real expansion in the number of tests that we’re doing,” say health bosses.

These include PCR testing (with symptoms), local testing sites, as well as the rapid lateral flow tests in the four centres across Lincoln and Boston, which give results in under an hour.

Professor Derek Ward, Director of Public Health for Lincolnshire County Council said: “As of the seven days up until March 9, we did 94,000 tests in those seven days, so a real expansion in the number of tests that we’re doing.”

He added: “Our percentage of those tests that came out positive has actually dropped slightly. We’ve tested more, but we’re finding less.”

At the start of February, the percentage of positive cases from tests was 1.5%, this has now dropped to 0.8%, despite the increased number of testing.

For rapid lateral flow testing, at all centres, 27,000 tests have been taken with 350 positive cases since they were set up in January.

Professor Ward said: “We’ve now got a number of sites all across the county, and we are working with our districts, about opening some more up which will be a conversation at the Outbreak Engagement Board next week.”

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

Vaccination numbers have been falling over the past few weeks, but Professor Ward expects vaccine supplies and uptake to increase next week from central government indications.

Despite children returning to school this week, health bosses have only seen a handful of positive cases of children with coronavirus.

Reports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine causing blood clots in Denmark was reassured by Professor Ward that this is being closely monitored and that the benefits of the vaccine mean for it to carry on being distributed.

A discussion will take place in the Outbreak Engagement Board and with South Holland District Council about targeting the high COVID positivity rate in the district’s workforce.

“We are working on a proposal with national government about trying to target in a positive way the workforce in South Holland, to increase their uptake of testing” said Professor Ward.

Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rates from Mar 1 to Mar 10. | Data: Gov UK / Table: James Mayer for The Lincolnite