Lincolnshire’s COVID-19 numbers could peak in the next month, health bosses have said after the region recorded its highest daily cases since November 12 and its first death in 41 days.
However, vaccinations in the county are still rising, albeit slower now, with 88% of the eligible population now having had their first dose and 70% their second.
There are currently 22 COVID patients in Lincolnshire’s hospitals.
Government figures yesterday reported 713 cases across the whole of Greater Lincolnshire with 371 of those in Lincolnshire, 243 in North East Lincolnshire and 99 in North Lincolnshire.
The UK recorded 48,553 cases yesterday – the highest daily number since January, with 63 deaths nationally.
Both the government and NHS figures also recorded two further deaths each – one in Lincolnshire and one in Northern Lincolnshire.
Lincolnshire County Council’s director for public health, Professor Derek Ward, said there had been a definite spike in cases in Lincolnshire around July 12, with around 100 extra cases than they expected to see – likely down to Public Health England catching up on some data.
Bosses are currently seeing around 250 to 300 cases a day in their own figures, though have reached more than 350 according to government data.
Professor Ward said the majority of cases were still in people under 30, and mostly unvaccinated. He said there was a chance some cases may be in vaccinated people whose response to the vaccine had not “been as good as it could have been”.
Vaccine figures released by the government showed the county had now given out 992,389 cumulative doses, up 13,336 on the previous week’s 979,053 total. However, the increase was 4,152 doses fewer than the 17,488 given out the week before.
When asked if the Delta variant was infecting vaccinated people, Professor Ward said: “The Delta variant appears to be exceptionally efficient at finding people who haven’t been vaccinated and infecting them.
“The majority of people in Lincolnshire have had a vaccine, so when you’ve got this many cases, it’s simply a numbers game, it will find some people who’ve had a vaccination, but maybe they haven’t had the strength of response that we would ideally have liked.
“That’s probably what we’re seeing in those people who were getting infected who have had a vaccine, for whatever reason it’s on an individual level.
“It’s just not given them the immune response that it normally would and because we’ve got so many people who’ve got the disease, they’re coming into contact with them and they’re catching it.”
He said the best thing to do would be to keep to the guidelines – despite them lifting on Monday, July 19 – including the key ‘hands, face, space’ message, wearing masks in enclosed spaces, keeping a good distance away from people and getting the vaccine,
He said this would also help stop people from dying, which was always a cause for concern.
Professor Ward did not think another lockdown would be required by the winter-time at the moment, predicting that if a new variant of concern did not emerge then case numbers could peak in Lincolnshire by end of July and into the middle of August.
He said cases “should keep coming down” but added: “We won’t eradicate it, we’ll always have cases, but unless we get a new variant I don’t think we will get a winter surge, unless the immunity wears off a lot quicker than we think it’s going to.”
Pointing to the number of patients in hospital, he concluded that even with lockdown restrictions lifting “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.
Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Thursday, July 15
71,704 cases (up 713)
- 47,499 in Lincolnshire (up 371)
- 11,134 in North Lincolnshire (up 99)
- 13,071 in North East Lincolnshire (up 243)
2,200 deaths (up two)
- 1,624 from Lincolnshire (up one)
- 302 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
- 274 from North East Lincolnshire (up one)
of which 1,317 hospital deaths (up two)
- 817 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up one)
- 43 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
- 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
- 456 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (up one)
5,281,098 UK cases, 128,593 deaths