CORONAVIRUS: County health boss still expecting second wave at some point

Lincolnshire’s health boss is still expecting a second wave of COVID-19 in the autumn but has said “no-one’s got a crystal ball” as major events continue to be cancelled.
Lincolnshire County Councils director of public health Derek WardLincolnshire County Councils director of public health Derek Ward
Lincolnshire County Councils director of public health Derek Ward

The comments come as the City of Lincoln Council announced Thursday it was cancelling this year’s Christmas Market, due to take place December 3-6, following concern over the large footfall.

Some residents questioned if it was “too early” for the decision to be made.

Lincolnshire County Council’s director of public health Derek Ward said it was a decision for the council to make, but added: “nobody’s got a crystal ball, nobody knows where we’ll be in December.

“Clearly, what we are all preparing for is the risk of a second wave, and if that comes, my assessment is that it will come in the autumn or the winter.”

He suggested that if smaller events were to be held, the best way to minimise risk would still to be to make sure they were held outdoors and with two metres distancing – however, he acknowledged that in the colder months there was always a risk from the weather.

Mr Ward confirmed a “feast” of new data passed to his team showed that between July 1-7, 4,000 Pillar 2 tests had been done at Lincolnshire Showground (and home tests), the mobile units and through home testing – around 20% of the Showground’s capacity.

Of those, just 17 came back positive – 0.4% – with a further seven being confirmed through Lincolnshire’s hospitals.

“It’s a nice low level, and happy, very happy to keep it there. But equally, I’m actually quite pleased that we’ve got through nearly 4,000 tests because it means people are going for a test if they need one.

“Obviously we want to minimise the number of deaths and the number of people who come into hospital with COVID, and the way to do that is people go and get tested and hopefully come back negative.”

He added that there would be “rises and falls” in the future but that numbers weren’t yet a “significant issue” unless they were clustered in one area rather than spread out across the county as a whole.