'Be cautious' warns public health chief as Harborough prepares to reopen on Monday
Mike Sandys, the county council’s director of public health, said Harborough's low levels are very welcome - but warned people to stay vigilant
Leicestershire’s public health chief is urging people to be cautious as Harborough prepares to reopen on Monday (April 12).
Mike Sandys, the county council’s director of public health, said the district’s lowest Covid-19 infection rates since last summer is “welcome news”.
But he is calling on people to stay vigilant – warning that the highly-infectious virus is still out there.
“One clear signpost towards recovery is how rates in the Harborough district have fallen – by almost 50 per cent in the seven days up to Monday April 5.
“No-one aged over 65 is believed to have been infected with Covid-19 in the district since 26 March,” said the county council.
“There also haven’t been any positive cases among the over-60s in Blaby district and north-west Leicestershire.”
But as non-essential shops, libraries, gyms, hairdressers and outdoor hospitality begin to reopen, Mike said he doesn’t want people to “drop their guard”.
“The fall in rates is really welcome news and, while we’re definitely getting on top of the pandemic, there’s still a way to go.
“But all the pointers are definitely in the right direction.
"The county is starting to open up again - but the effect will also be more people being out and about,” said Mike.
“So please stay sensible and vigilant and follow the basics around hands, face, space and fresh air."
• Students return to their classrooms and the county council is sending out letters to all primary and secondary schools, with reminder messages around staying safe in and out of school which will then be distributed to parents
• Libraries across the county are also back open for browsing and taking away books from Monday. Extensive work is going on behind the scenes to make them as safe as possible with one-way systems, restrictions on numbers so that people can socially distance and returned books being removed from circulation for up to 72 hours before going back on to the shelves
• For the latest updates, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/libraries• Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted for up to 15 people, with receptions and celebrations also able to take place outside, with the same limit on numbers in place
• Lateral flow tests are now available for everyone. The Government's expanded testing for people without symptoms will be delivered through:
* a home ordering service
* community testing - there is a test site in each district and in other local authority areas if you don't live in Leicestershire
* collection at a local ‘PCR’ test site during specific collection times
* testing at schools and colleges
* a new ‘pharmacy collect’ service
* Private sector workplaces.