Lincolnshire coronavirus infections double

COVID-19 infections in Lincoln and North Kesteven (Hykeham) have doubled in the past week.

Most areas of Lincolnshire had increased COVID-19 cases in the past seven days, but health bosses say further national rules are more likely to come in than local lockdowns.

Across higher tier authorities, North and North East Lincolnshire are on the government’s amber alert level, the second highest, with 25 and 33.1 cases per 100,000 respectively.

Lincolnshire is on the lower yellow alert level with just 20.5 per 100,000.

Last week to Sunday there were 294 cases in Greater Lincolnshire, while the previous week there were 187. So far in September there were 712 cases, compared to 204 or the whole of August.

Andy Fox, consultant in public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said a general increase in cases in September had been expected due to the relaxing of lockdown and increase in social contact.

He confirmed the increase was “not to do with students,” many of whom have yet to arrive.

In the past week the rate of infection per 100,000 of the population has increased in:

Lincoln from 27-55

North Kesteven from 15-29

East Lindsey from 11-13

South Holland from 4-8

South Kesteven from 15-20

However, it has decreased in both West Lindsey (26-25) and Boston (10-7).

Mr Fox said there was nowhere near the levels needed to mandate a local lockdown basis.

“More will come nationally before it happens locally,” he said.

“Most of the urban areas of the country are ahead of Lincoln and Lincolnshire in terms of the current baseline ratio of incidents.

“What that likely means is that by the time Lincoln reaches the threshold for local lockdown action, most of the urban areas in the country are probably also going to reach that threshold.

“That’s the point where I’d expect that, either we get a series of nationally mandated lockdowns in specific areas across the country, or we have just a blanket national lockdown.”

Students are due to return to Lincoln’s universities in October, and although there is no evidence of them adding to cases currently, some increases are expected.

However, Mr Fox said he was reassured about the work the universities were doing.

Nationally more than 40 universities have experienced outbreaks so far, including Liverpool and Manchester.

“I would expect there to be some transmission and passing that around, obviously what we’re hoping is that we can get that any very mild cases we can get tested and we can pick that up,” said Mr Fox.

“We can isolate people and we can control it and avoid some of the major outbreaks that we’ve seen in other universities around the country.”

Latest coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire

4,484 cases (up 39)

3,227 in Lincolnshire (up 22)

929 in North Lincolnshire (up 12)

328 in North East Lincolnshire (up five)

393 deaths (no change)

269 from Lincolnshire (no change)

89 from North Lincolnshire (no change)

35 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)

of which 271 hospital deaths (up one)

146 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up one)

4 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)

1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)

120 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)

439,013 UK cases, 42,001 deaths