Sharp drop in Harborough's Covid figures - but will that be enough to get us out of the hardline Tier 3 restrictions?
The district’s status is set to be reassessed along with the rest of the country next Wednesday (December 16)
The number of people being infected by the coronavirus in Harborough has fallen well below the national average for England, the latest figures show.
The rate of Covid-19 infection across the district in the seven days to Thursday December 3 tumbled to 113 per 100,000 people after 106 new cases, the latest Public Health England statistics show.
That’s a sharp drop on the rate of 151 for the previous seven days, when 142 people tested positive for the virulent virus.
Harborough now has the lowest rate of Covid-19 infections in Leicestershire as the district’s hardline Tier 3 status is set to be reassessed along with the rest of the country next Wednesday (December 16).
The county-wide rate during the week to December 3 was 148.6 per 100,000 people.
The average for the whole of England is 149.2.
Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough District Council, hailed the new figures out today as “very positive”.
But asked if Harborough could now be moved into the less-severe Tier 2 coronavirus zone, the Conservative council chief warned: “We need to be very cautious about the chances of that.
“Economically, we would all love to be lifted out of Tier 3 and dropped down into Tier 2 next week.
“But this is very finely balanced.
“It’s impossible to say at the moment what will happen next week – and I certainly don’t want to get people’s hopes and expectations up.”
Cllr King said Harborough is heading in the right direction with Christmas just over a fortnight away.
“We have made very good progress in the fight to defeat the coronavirus and push it back.
“But we also have to be pragmatic.
“We will be talking online to the relevant officials in the coming days to discuss what will happen as the tiers are reviewed,” said Cllr King.
“The Government and public health experts will analyse and look at a number of factors and criteria – such as current impact on our local hospitals – when they decide how to move forward on this.
“The rate of virus infection in Harborough was extremely low between the end of the first national lockdown in June/July and the second lockdown being imposed last month.
“That’s where we need to get back to.
“We all have a crucial role to play in conquering this terrible illness.
“The people of Harborough have done ever so well uniting to help drive down the rate of infection here,” said Cllr King.
“My message to everyone living here is simple and straightforward.
“Please carry on doing what you are doing now – wear a face covering, wash your hands, keep your distance.
“All being well the new vaccine, a genuinely massive breakthrough, will be rolled out here over the next week or two.
“So do not relax now and see the rate of infection shoot back up again over the Christmas and New Year holiday.
“I’d also like to remind people that we are still running our community hub and there are hundreds of amazing people volunteering to help out vulnerable people across Harborough.
“I salute every one of these Good Samaritans.
“They are phenomenal and are doing an incredible job.
“So please continue to look out for your neighbours, your elderly loved ones, your entire community,” said Cllr King.