James Mayer

Local Democracy Reporter

James joined Stonebow Media's editorial team in November 2020 as a Local Democracy Reporter, covering authorities across Greater Lincolnshire for the BBC Local News Partnerships scheme.


There have been 285 coronavirus cases in Greater Lincolnshire and eight COVID-related deaths so far this week – a 7% drop in cases and one less death from the previous week.

The government’s COVID-19 dashboard on Friday recorded 32 new cases in Lincolnshire, eight in North Lincolnshire and three in North East Lincolnshire.

On April 16, three deaths were registered in Lincolnshire and none in Northern Lincolnshire. These figures include deaths both in and out of hospitals, as well as residents in hospitals outside the county.

NHS England reported two hospitals this week so far, compared to none this time last week.

On Friday, national cases increased by 2,596 to 4,383,732, while deaths rose by 34 to 127,225.

In local news, Lincolnshire health bosses expect COVID-19 cases to rise in our region as lockdown is eased, but are optimistic that if numbers are kept low enough, then people will be free to enjoy the summer.

Andy Fox, Deputy Director of Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, said the lifting of coronavirus restrictions this week had not caused any specific concerns yet.

Since Wednesday, Greater Lincolnshire has again seen a decrease in its infection rates overall, against an increase nationally.

All districts have seen a fall in their rates, except small increases in North Lincolnshire and South Holland. Lincoln has stayed the same and has the lowest rate in the region.

Boston has the highest infection rate of COVID-19 in Greater Lincolnshire and is ranked 9th in the UK.

Here’s Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rates up to April 16:

Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rates from Apr 9 to Apr 16. | Data: Gov UK / Table: James Mayer for The Lincolnite

England’s R number has dropped slightly to between 0.7 and 1 according to the latest data this week. This means for every 10 people infected with COVID-19, they will pass it on to between seven and 10 others.

The new Indian variant of the COVID virus that’s been detected in the UK has all the hallmarks of a very dangerous virus.

It has two new significant mutations in the spike protein that help it infect cells and evade the immune system.

People are “likely” to need a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine within 12 months of getting the first two, Pfizer’s chief executive has said.

Dr Albert Bourla said a booster jab could be necessary “somewhere between six and 12 months” after the second one – and every year thereafter.


Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Friday, April 16

Greater Lincolnshire includes Lincolnshire and the unitary authorities of North and North East (Northern) Lincolnshire.

58,919 cases (up 43)

  • 41,028 in Lincolnshire (up 32)
  • 9,275 in North Lincolnshire (up eight)
  • 8,616 in North East Lincolnshire (up three)

2,185 deaths (up three)

  • 1,613 from Lincolnshire (up three)
  • 304 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
  • 268 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)

of which 1,302 hospital deaths (no change)

  • 810 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (no change)
  • 41 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
  • 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
  • 450 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)

4,383,732 UK cases, 127,225 deaths

DATA SOURCE — FIGURES CORRECT AT THE TIME OF the latest update. postcode data includes deaths not in healthcare facilities or in hospitals outside authority boundaries.

There have been 63 new coronavirus cases and one COVID-related death in Greater Lincolnshire on Thursday, compared to 93 cases and no deaths this time last week.

The government’s COVID-19 dashboard recorded 40 new cases in Lincolnshire, 13 in North Lincolnshire and 10 in North East Lincolnshire.

On Thursday, one death was registered in North Lincolnshire, none in North East Lincolnshire but -1 in Lincolnshire. Fluctuations in data can occur for a variety of reasons including corrected data, misdiagnoses or wrong addresses. These figures include deaths both in and out of hospitals, as well as residents in hospitals outside the county.

NHS England has reported no new local hospital deaths on Thursday, the second day in a row this week.

National cases increased by 2,672 to 4,380,976, while deaths rose by 30 to 127,191.

In local news, more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccinations have now been administered in Lincolnshire, of which over 425,000 were first doses.

The weekly data released on Thursday shows altogether 508,280 jabs have taken place between December 8 and April 11 — a further 39,915 in the last week, but an increase on the 32,282 jabs given the week before.

A 16-year-old girl from Bourne who works in a local care home has become one of the youngest people in the country to receive both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Ellie Goldsmith, who works at Yew Tree Residential in Dowsby, Bourne, has had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, most recently in Grantham on Friday, April 9.

Boston’s large COVID-19 vaccination centre will be hosting European days over the next two weekends to encourage more communities to have their first dose.

Held at the Princess Royal Sports Arena (PRSA) in Boston on Sunday, April 18 (10am-2pm) and Sunday, April 25 (10am-4pm), the days will offer a chance to be given a walk-in vaccine appointment without the need to book.

Here’s Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rate up to April 14:

Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rates from Apr 7 to Apr 14. | Data: Gov UK / Table: James Mayer for The Lincolnite

In national news, introducing COVID status certificates to help reopen society risks discriminating against some groups, the UK equality watchdog has warned.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission says certificates to prove who is vaccinated could help to ease restrictions “in principle”.

But they could create a “two-tier society whereby only certain groups are able to fully enjoy their rights”.

Fighting airborne transmission is key to any future attempts to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, a BMJ editorial has said.

The editorial looked at how a cloud of exhaled smoke behaves to suggest people are most likely to get the virus when they are standing within one metre of someone who has it.

Lincolnshire’s COVID cases up to April 15.


Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Thursday, April 15

Greater Lincolnshire includes Lincolnshire and the unitary authorities of North and North East (Northern) Lincolnshire.

58,876 cases (up 63)

  • 40,996 in Lincolnshire (up 40)
  • 9,267 in North Lincolnshire (up 13)
  • 8,613 in North East Lincolnshire (up 10)

2,182 deaths (up one)

  • 1,610 from Lincolnshire (down one)
  • 304 from North Lincolnshire (up one)
  • 268 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)

of which 1,302 hospital deaths (no change)

  • 810 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (no change)
  • 41 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
  • 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
  • 450 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)

4,380,976 UK cases, 127,191 deaths

DATA SOURCE — FIGURES CORRECT AT THE TIME OF THE LATEST UPDATE. POSTCODE DATA INCLUDES DEATHS NOT IN HEALTHCARE FACILITIES OR IN HOSPITALS OUTSIDE AUTHORITY BOUNDARIES.

There have been 41 new coronavirus cases and no COVID-related deaths in Greater Lincolnshire on Wednesday — down from 67 cases and two deaths last Wednesday.

The government’s COVID-19 dashboard recorded 21 new cases in Lincolnshire, 11 in North East Lincolnshire and nine in North Lincolnshire.

On Wednesday, -2 deaths were registered in Lincolnshire and none in Northern Lincolnshire. These figures include deaths both in and out of hospitals, as well as residents in hospitals outside the county. Fluctuations in data can occur for a variety of reasons including corrected data, misdiagnoses or wrong addresses.

NHS England has reported no new local hospital deaths at the four Greater Lincolnshire health trusts.

On Wednesday, national cases increased by 2,491 to 4,378,305, while deaths rose by 38 to 127,161.

In local news, more than a third of call-outs for Lincolnshire Police assistance are related to mental health issues, as the force has seen spikes in suicide rates affecting young people disproportionately.

This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple lockdowns across the UK, with Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward expecting further increases in mental health reports as the county leaves lockdown.

Since Monday, Greater Lincolnshire’s average infection rate has fallen, compared to the England average that has seen a small increase.

Boston, North Lincolnshire, South Kesteven and Lincoln City have seen small spikes since Monday, with North Kesteven remaining the same and the other districts noticing a reduction.

Boston has the 8th highest infection rate in the UK currently.

Here’s Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rates up to April 14, according to the government dashboard:

Greater Lincolnshire’s infection rates from Apr 7 to Apr 14. | Data: Gov UK / Table: James Mayer for The Lincolnite

In national news, about of half of the UK population in private households is estimated to have COVID-19 antibodies, meaning they have been vaccinated or were previously infected.

A survey by the Office for National Statistics suggests that an estimated 54.9% of people in England had the antibodies in the week ending March 28. This figure is largely unchanged from the previous two weeks, when the last survey was done.

A major UK trial looking at whether COVID vaccines can be mixed with different types of jabs used for first and second doses is being expanded.

Combining vaccines might give broader, longer-lasting immunity against the virus and new variants of it, and offer more flexibility to vaccine rollout.


Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Wednesday, April 14

Greater Lincolnshire includes Lincolnshire and the unitary authorities of North and North East (Northern) Lincolnshire.

58,813 cases (up 41)

  • 40,956 in Lincolnshire (up 21)
  • 9,254 in North Lincolnshire (up nine)
  • 8,603 in North East Lincolnshire (up 11)

2,182 deaths (no change)

  • 1,611 from Lincolnshire (down two)
  • 303 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
  • 268 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)

of which 1,302 hospital deaths (no change)

  • 810 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (no change)
  • 41 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
  • 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
  • 450 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)

4,378,305 UK cases, 127,161 deaths

DATA SOURCE — FIGURES CORRECT AT THE TIME OF the latest update. postcode data includes deaths not in healthcare facilities or in hospitals outside authority boundaries.

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