Harborough's Covid rate slowly rises - but another part of the county sees a rapid increase
The district's rate is still well below the county's average but health chiefs are urging people to be cautious
Health chiefs are imploring people to work flat out to combat rising Covid-19 cases across Leicestershire.
They have issued the appeal as the latest statistics show that the rate of coronavirus infection in Harborough has climbed to 37.3 cases per 100,000 people.
That’s nine per cent up on last week, the county council said.
But it’s still well below the Leicestershire average rate of 57.9 per 100,000 and the England average of 69.9.
Mike Sandys, the county council’s director of public health, said: "We need to do all we can to help prevent the spread of the virus as we see that concerning pattern of cases going up.”
He spoke as targeted door-to-door Covid testing will begin in Loughborough this week amid a dramatic spike in the number of cases in part of the town to 342.5.
Testing is also available across the county to all Leicestershire residents.
People who experience symptoms of coronavirus (continuous cough, change or loss of taste or smell, or high temperature) should visit www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test to book a test and leave the house only to get a test.
Around one in three people do not experience symptoms.
So to help identify cases that would otherwise go undetected, people without symptoms can get a lateral flow test at one of seven centres.
One of the testing centres is based at Harborough Leisure Centre on Northampton Road, Market Harborough
Meanwhile, Cllr Phil King, the leader of Harborough council, said he understands why Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put back Freedom Day on Monday June 21 to Monday July 19 at the earliest.
“It’s immensely disappointing to be honest.
“We were all really looking forward to opening up fully again,” said Cllr King.
“But I can understand why the Government has done this.
“We are not out of the woods yet and Covid cases are rising fast in some parts of the country.
“My advice to everybody is simple.
“Get the vaccination when you are offered it.
“We are getting to 22 and 23-year-olds here in Harborough now.
“Some 82 per cent of people here have had their first shot – and about 66 per cent have had both,” said Cllr King.
“So the vaccines roll-out has gone brilliantly in Harborough but we have to keep our foot down.”
Cllr Phil Knowles, who heads up the council’s Liberal Democrat group, said: “It’s a very difficult one.
“The Government is walking a fine line between protecting people’s health and saving lives – and doing their best for businesses in vital areas such as hospitality.
“We have to look at extending the furlough scheme for worried workers for starters,” said the vastly-experienced health campaigner.
“Our booming local economy in Harborough has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic along with everywhere else in the UK.
“The Government has to pinpoint what extra financial support it can hand out to our business people and entrepreneurs – who are being stretched to the limit,” said Cllr Knowles.
“As for the rest of us – enjoy yourselves but safely.
“Wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands and we’ll beat this menace sooner rather than later.”