Sharp increase in new Covid cases across Harborough - mostly in 10-19-year-olds
Worryingly about 80 per cent of new infections are the highly-transmissible Delta variant of the virus
People are being urged to be extra cautious as the number of new coronavirus cases has climbed across Harborough.
The district has seen 35 new Covid-19 cases in the last week – and most involve 10-19-year-olds.
Worryingly about 80 per cent of new infections are the highly-transmissible Delta variant of the virus.
The weekly infection rate in Harborough has spiralled to 38.4 per 100,000 people.
That’s over three times what it was at the end of last month.
Some 80 per cent of adults in the district have now had one Covid vaccination and 60 per cent have received both doses.
Over 111,200 jabs have been given here since December - 63,459 have had one shot and 47,781 both doses.
Mike Sandys, Leicestershire’s director of public health, said there has been a “sudden sharp increase” in the number of cases in Harborough.
He called on everyone to be on their guard as he said there’s still a “fair chunk of people” who have not had both jabs.
Cllr Phil Knowles, the leader of the Liberal Democrats on Harborough council, said: “People have to remember that we are still very much fighting the Covid virus.
“We have to carry on wearing a mask, keeping our distance, washing our hands.
“We are being hit by different variants of the coronavirus – and we’ve got to stay on our toes,” said the long-serving health campaigner.
“The NHS is doing an incredible job vaccinating the population.
“And everyone has got to get vaccinated.
“But there is still a fair number of us – especially younger people – who are yet to be jabbed.
“So be very careful.
“Enjoy yourselves by all means – but enjoy yourselves safely.”
Asked for his views on if the UK should fully reopen on so-called Freedom Day on Monday June 21, Cllr Knowles replied: “The Government has a critical decision to make here.
“They have got to let people know what they are doing as soon as possible.
“That’s especially crucial for business owners as they try to plan and prepare ahead.
“There is a lot of speculation floating about.
“But we need to see the latest scientific advice and data as soon as it’s available.”
Meanwhile, the battle to combat the spread of Covid-19 across Leicestershire is being stepped up by the county council after the steep rise in cases.
There are now over 50 new sites across the county – including in Market Harborough and Lutterworth - where rapid home test kits are available.
You can find out exactly where you can get them here: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/covidhometestThere are also about 140 pharmacies in Leicestershire offering the rapid home test kits.
Visit https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk to discover where kits are available, including testing sites.
County health chief Mike Sandys said: “We want to ensure there is an additional layer of support in place to encourage people to get tested.
“We’re offering rapid home test kits and making them readily available in numerous places across the county.
“We know this type of testing can help identify people who are infected, but who don’t have symptoms.”
Mike added: “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.
“It’s vital that people stay vigilant.
“To protect yourself and others, keep two metres apart, wear a mask to help to reduce the spread of the virus and regularly wash your hands.”
People with symptoms are also being reminded to get tested.
They must book an appointment by calling 119 or at http://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-testCovid rapid lateral flow home test kits are available to all in Leicestershire who don't have symptoms, have not tested positive within the past 90 days and have not been in contact with a positive case in the last 10 days.
You can collect a home testing kit from a community testing centre where staff can also advise on having a rapid test - and can also give information on how to use the kits.
You can pick up a kit at Harborough Leisure Centre (Bowls Hall) on Northampton Road, Market Harborough.
Rapid test kits are also available from county libraries during their usual opening hours – with some exceptions.
Visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/covidhometest to find out more.
You can also get your hands on a rapid test kit at Lutterworth Sports Centre on Coventry Road, Lutterworth.
You can also order test kits to be delivered to your home at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests