'Don't waste sacrifices so far': appeal to South Ribble residents after Covid increase

Residents in South Ribble are being urged not to waste the sacrifices that have been made in the borough in the effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Friday, 14th August 2020, 11:52 am

That was the message from the deputy leader of the borough council, Mick Titherington, a day after the authority highlighted an increase in cases in the district – with 21 new infections identified over the past fortnight.

Those figures are now being reflected in one of the other main measurements of the spread of Covid-19 – the case rate per 100,000 people living in an area.

In the week to 9th August, South Ribble’s weekly case rate increased from 7.2 to 11.7. While that is still far short of the 43.3 recorded over the same period in neighbouring Preston – now back in partial lockdown – Cllr Titherington said residents should be “looking over the water” and learning lessons from the city.

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Cllr Mick Titherington, deputy leader of South Ribble Borough Council

“Any increase in infections is bound to be a concern. We have got to keep monitoring the situation and our primary aim has got to be to avoid any kind of lockdown.

“We need to recognise all those sacrifices that have been made over the last four months – and not let them be wasted,” he said.

In appealing for everybody in the borough to “accept their responsibility”, Cllr Titherington said that Lancashire-wide statistics – showing almost half of cases are made up of those under 30 – should give locals pause for thought.

“The younger you are, the more you want to mix – but we would ask that people be responsible and follow the guidance.

“Similarly, in pubs, we need both landlords and customers to act responsibly and not waste the progress we have made.

“In case anybody needs reminding, that guidance is to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance from others outside of your household, wear a face covering when applicable – and, crucially, stay at home if you have symptoms and get a test.”

The data shows that cases are spread, in lower numbers, across South Ribble, with no particular localities emerging as hotspots – although statistics for the week ending 9th August show an area centred around Lostock Hall as having the highest number in the borough with a total of five.

South Ribble Borough Council’s environmental health team is out and about offering businesses advice on how they can play their part in reversing the recent increase in cases.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that, prior to the spike, the authority had also appointed its own Covid officer. The majority of public health work is led by Lancashire County Council, but the South Ribble staff member will work to help reduce the spread of infection through education and advice.