Fears Lancashire could be in line for its first local lockdown as coronavirus cases rise in Blackburn

A rise in coronavirus cases in Blackburn has sparked a plea for people to stick to social distancing rules - or risk a local lockdown.

While the county has two boroughs in the top five nationally when it comes to new infections in the last week, the picture is varied, with roughly half of council areas seeing a drop in transmission.

Central Lancashire and the Fylde coast have both seen a fall in their figures.

But the rate of new cases in Pendle during the seven days up to July 7 was second only to Leicester - the site of the UK's first local lockdown.

A mobile coronavirus testing site has been set up in Blackburn following a rise in new cases and in a bid to avoid a local lockdown

In Pendle, the rate has gone up from 13.1 to 47 cases per 100,000 people. This has been caused by a small rise in the number of new cases recorded on July 6 and 7. There is not yet enough data to show if this is the start of a trend.

Leicester, on the other hand, has seen the rate fall but it remains far higher at 122.2.

In Blackburn with Darwen, the rate has gone up from 20.1 to 35.6, though this is still below the level recorded in the seven days to June 23 (36.9).

To help keep the virus under control in Blackburn with Darwen, a drive-through testing site will be set up from today (Saturday July 11).

Testing will take place in the car park at Witton Park Academy between 11am and 6.30pm every day for the next seven days.

Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s director of public health, said: "Whilst we haven’t had the level of outbreak seen in Leicester and other areas, we are aware of our raised rate of confirmed cases according to recent data. We are therefore introducing a range of measures to mitigate risks in a proportionate and phased way – and the mobile testing unit is one of them.

"My message continues to be: stick to two metres social distancing wherever possible, increase daily handwashing and wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces. It’s up to us all to stick by the rules and protect each other."

Coun Mohammed Khan, leader of the council in Blackburn, added: "No one in Blackburn with Darwen wants to find ourselves in a situation like in Leicester. Please continue to do your bit to stick to the rules to protect yourself and your loved ones."

Where in Lancashire are coronavirus cases rising?

Figures show the number of weekly new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the seven days to July 7, and the change compared to the previous seven days to June 30.

Blackburn with Darwen 35.6 (Up from 20.1)

Blackpool 7.9 (Down from 12.9)

Burnley 2.3 (Down from 14.7)

Chorley 2.6 (Down from 3.4)

Fylde 10.0 (Up from 7.5)

Hyndburn 2.5 (Up from 1.2)

Lancaster 1.4 (No change)

Pendle 47.0 (Up from 13.1)

Preston 7.1 (Down from 16.9)

Rossendale 0.0 (No change)

Ribble Valley 10.0 (Up from 6.7)

South Ribble 6.3 (Down from 9.0)

West Lancashire 7.0 (Up from 6.1)

Wyre 3.6 (Down from 4.5)