The number of people contracting Covid-19 in North Lincolnshire remains low, but Penny Spring, the area’s Director of Public Health, says a recent rise in cases is a concern.
In the four weeks up to 6 September there were 43 cases identified through testing – this is compared to only 15 positive cases in the previous four weeks.
In the seven days up 6 September there have been 14 cases identified.
The North Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board has launched a Stop Covid, Prevent Local Outbreaks campaign, which urges everybody to do their bit to help keep the spread of coronavirus under control in the region.
Mrs Spring said:
“The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in North Lincolnshire remains low but across the past couple of weeks particularly, the numbers have been rising.
“This is a concern and we need local people’s help to ensure the rate doesn’t increase further.
“Over the past four weeks the reducing trend has reversed and we have seen cases begin to increase in North Lincolnshire similar to national trends.
“Compared with many other areas in England, North Lincolnshire’s cases still remain comparatively low, but, with schools and colleges welcoming students back, and the economy opening up more, it is crucial that people stick to the guidelines if we are to avoid a local outbreak.
“Now is categorically not the time to be complacent nor apathetic – by following a few simple rules people can protect themselves, their friends, family and the local community.
“It has been said many times before, but hand hygiene is critical to controlling the virus. Washing hands regularly for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser is the number one thing people can do to stop the spread.
“Social distancing remains vital. Stay two metres apart where possible and wear a face covering correctly in places like shops and on public transport.
“If people have symptoms, even mild symptoms, then they need to self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible.
“Stopping Covid is everyone’s responsibility. If we all play our part then we can keep North Lincolnshire safe and avoid local outbreaks.”
North Lincolnshire Council is reminding people they only need to book a test for Covid-19 if they have symptoms such as a continuous cough, high temperature or a loss or change in their sense of taste or smell.
Over the past 14 days more 1,000 North Lincolnshire residents booked and received a test for Covid-19 at testing centres. As it has been communicated nationally, around 25% of tests undertaken have been for people who do not have any symptoms, this equates to around one in four of these people did not need to be tested. Therefore only getting tested when necessary frees up slots for the people who do need to be tested.
Nationally and locally the demand for tests has increased and there are peaks and troughs in demand. Extra capacity is being added and tests are available for those that need them – although available slots in peak times may be limited.
“The people of North Lincolnshire have worked with us over the past few months to stick to the guidance to help keep us all safe and we ask for us all to continue to practice this to keep us all safe”, Mrs Spring added.