Local Democracy

There have been 1,429 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Greater Lincolnshire this week.

The latest UK coronavirus dashboard figures for Friday showed 153 cases in Lincolnshire, 44 in North Lincolnshire and 73 in North East Lincolnshire.

In total there have been 4,286 cases for the month of October.

This week has also seen 25 deaths of Greater Lincolnshire residents reported by government, with eight of those confirmed to be in the region’s hospitals.

NHS figures for Friday reported three further deaths in hospitals, with two taking place at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust facilities and one at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals Trust facilities.

The government’s own death tally, which includes those both in and out of hospitals and those of residents in hospitals outside the county, showed five new deaths, including four in Lincolnshire and one in North Lincolnshire.

Nationally, cases increased by 20,530 to 830,998, while deaths jumped by 224 to 44,571.

A chart of Lincolnshire’s cases up to October 23.

Lincolnshire is currently still on the medium (tier 1) level for the the new three-tier lockdown system of COVID-19 risk, which means it has no extra restrictions on top of the nation-wide ones.

In other news today, health bosses in Lincolnshire expect more areas of the UK to go into higher tiers in the coming weeks, including potentially “some areas of Lincolnshire”.

They believe the county should have some control over more complicated test and trace contacts, after the Prime Minister admitted the national system “needs to improve”.

As of Friday, there are 88 patients with coronavirus at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Northern Lincolnshire NHS Foundation Trust facilities.

Also, parents are being urged to make sure children follow the social distancing rules during half-term, to avoid outbreaks in schools upon their return.

Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire for Friday, October 23

8,878 cases (up 270)

  • 5,755 in Lincolnshire (up 153)
  • 1,804 in North Lincolnshire (up 44)
  • 1,319 in North East Lincolnshire (up 73)

446 deaths (up five)

  • 299 from Lincolnshire (up four)
  • 94 from North Lincolnshire (up one)
  • 43 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)

of which 292 hospital deaths (up three)

  • 155 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up two)
  • 6 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
  • 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
  • 130 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (up one)

830,998 UK cases, 44,571 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.

Schools could get a “fire break” over the half-term holiday, but health bosses in Lincolnshire are warning families to be careful during Halloween and Bonfire celebrations.

Lincolnshire County Council said on October 22 that it is working with 84 schools with COVID-19 infections. It is also working with eight nurseries.

The assistant director of public health Tony McGinty said the time was an opportunity to “reset”, and called on families to take care during the time off to ensure their children could go back to school afterwards.

“If we can do that, it will I think give a little bit of a fire break for schools that have had cases.

“There is an opportunity for those numbers to be lower than they were when we left the school.”

However, he said he was not looking to be a “killjoy”, just to ensure that families and children took the proper precautions.

“We want people to enjoy their break but it’d be really helpful, as parents, to just keep their children and themselves safe whilst they’re doing that.

“Bonfire parties, Halloween parties, there’s a whole load of things coming up — the children are off, they’re going to be playing more, maybe being in each other’s houses a bit more.

“It would be a real shame if they weren’t able to maintain some of those safety measures and we end up with more ill children, who then can’t go to school.”

If you are thinking of going to a bonfire or trick or treating, Mr McGinty offered some bits of advice.

  • Incorporate a face covering into your outfit. This could be a thick scarf over your mouth, or a scare mask which will act similar to the day-to-day wear.
  • If the child can be encouraged not to touch their faces then consider gloves as part of the outfit to protect them as they come into contact with other people.
  • If not then bare hands are ok but try to use hand sanitiser between household visits or treats
  • Maintain the two metre social distancing if at a bonfire event outside

New coronavirus testing sites will be set up in Grantham and Gainsborough in a bid to get better access for residents.

Lincolnshire’s assistant director of public health confirmed that the Department for Health and Social care was looking at the sites in order to up capacity during the winter months.

He said the locations were close to “higher risk neighbouring areas” which saw higher footfall due to work and shopping.

A spokesman said: “Officials have targeted additional testing sites in this area as part of planned expansion and these two sites will give better access.”

Mr McGinty said: “In the last seven days, 14,000 tests have been done in Lincolnshire so people are definitely taking up the capacity and that will have had something to do with the increasing numbers.

“We are planning more sites to make access easier for other communities through the winter.”

There are already testing sites in central Lincoln (walk-through), Lincolnshire Showground (drive-through) and Grimsby (drive-through).

According to government data, Lincolnshire’s latest seven-day rate was 102.1 per 100,000.

Meanwhile North East Lincolnshire was 229.4 and North Lincolnshire was 159.

At a district level, Lincoln (166.2), South Kesteven (112.3) and Boston (106.9) all sit within the criteria level.

West Lindsey’s rate is 78.4, below the figure which would cause concern, however, it is bordered by South Yorkshire which is in tier 3.

Lincoln and South Kesteven face another tier three on their borders if Nottinghamshire was put under toughest measures. So far, however, Newark and Sherwood is understood to have avoided that fate.

Health bosses expect more areas of the UK to go into higher tiers in the coming weeks, including potentially “some areas of Lincolnshire”.

Assistant director of public health Tony McGinty said there were “no discussions” currently ongoing with government agencies about numbers in Lincolnshire.

However, he said numbers of COVID cases will continue to increase.

On Thursday, the total number across Greater Lincolnshire passed the 4,000 mark — nearly five times September’s figure of 820.

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