New Covid highs in Preston, South Ribble and Ribble Valley
Preston has recorded more than 300 cases of Covid in the space of a week for the first time since the pandemic began.
The city’s case rate – the number of positive tests per 100,000 people – has also broken through the 200 mark, pushing the area back into the top ten worst-affected parts of England, in eighth place.
Coronavirus highs have also been hit in South Ribble, Ribble Valley and Fylde, as cases across Central Lancashire soared just 24 hours before the government’s expected weekly review of the local restrictions which are now in force right across the county.
In the week to 28th September, 317 people tested positive for Covid in the Preston City Council area – a case rate of 221.5, according to Public Health England data analysed by the Press Association.
In recent days, the rolling weekly figure, although high, appeared to have plateaued at below 200. The statistic is the main measure by which the government judges whether to tighten partial local lockdowns.
One in ten people taking a coronavirus test in the city was found to have the disease in the last week.
In South Ribble, over the same seven-day period, 118 cases were identified – the first time the weekly figure has ever been higher than 100. That equates to a case rate of 106.5 and is more than double the weekly level recorded seven days earlier.
Figures have also more than doubled in Ribble Valley, until recently one of the least affected areas of Lancashire according to its case rate. Across that same weekly timeframe to 28th September, it recorded 69 cases, a rate of 113.3.
Meanwhile in Fylde, a recent rise in cases has continued, with the rate in the borough now reaching a new high of 106.5.
Chorley and Wyre have both recorded more marginal increases week-on-week, but falls in recent days - with rates of 71.9 and 69.6 respectively.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast before the latest figures were published, Lancashire’s director of public health warned that residents needed to pay attention to the guidance given about how to go about their lives - not just strict letter of the law.
“Clearly people are thinking that if they could [do something], then they should We really need to turn that around and say just because that you could, doesn’t mean that you should,” Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi said.
“That’s why we’re asking everyone within Lancashire to avoid mixing of households to stop the transmission.”
Burnley currently has the highest Covid rate in England (339.6), with Pendle (211.7) and Hyndburn (195.0) rounding out the top ten just beneath Preston.