Sixteenth birthday party played a big part in an increase of Covid cases across Harborough
But the county's health chief says he is hopeful that we can all look forward to a fantastic spring and summer after the 13-month Covid nightmare
People in Harborough can finally start to dream about enjoying a fantastic spring and summer after the 13-month Covid nightmare, says the county’s upbeat public health chief.
Mike Sandys said he is delighted that the battle to beat the coronavirus is ploughing full steam ahead as the country begins to reopen after two tough lockdowns.
But he also warned that Covid cases have increased in Harborough over the last week – largely due to a 16th birthday party in the district.
And the county’s Director of Public Health is exhorting people to enjoy themselves but to stick to the rules as we start to put the Covid-19 pandemic stretching back to March 2020 behind us at long last.
“We can finally begin to dream about enjoying the spring and the summer – and getting back to something like normal again.
“I’m so pleased because I had a haircut yesterday after having to wait for months and months like everyone else!
“It’s a big relief that the infection figures both locally and nationally are staying stable or are actually coming down – even after we began to reopen on Monday April 12,” Mike told the Harborough Mail.
“We have had a cracking week here in Leicestershire and I’m very positive about the whole situation at the moment.
“The average Covid infection figure for England at the moment is 25.2 per 100,000 people.
“It’s 23.5 per 100,000 people here in Leicestershire so we are doing really well.
“Nationally the rate has fallen by about two per cent in the last seven days.
“But it’s plunged by 28 per cent here in our county so that’s obviously great news,” stressed Mike, as the vaccination programme is rolled out locally day in day out.
“As we know, Harborough has been performing brilliantly over the last few weeks.
“But we’ve had a bit of a spike over the last week or so – and it’s now got the highest rate in the county.
“We’ve seen a jump from about 20 to 30 cases in Harborough.
“Most age groups are still very low – it seems to be the 10-19-year-old group that’s been most affected.
“They make up about 40 per cent of cases in Harborough in the last week,” said the highly-experienced and respected public health expert.
“We know that there was a 16th birthday party somewhere in the district.
“And that party alone accounts for seven or eight of the new cases.
“So we all still have to be very careful – whether that’s kids or adults.
“Do not meet up indoors with your mates or your family.
“This birthday party was a specific incident – and it could easily have been avoided.
“I’ve seen a lot of pubs and licensed premises packed with people sitting outside – and they do seem to be sticking to tables of six.
“It’s fantastic to see our non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms and so on reopening and people going out again and meeting up.
“But we still have to observe and follow the basic rules of wearing a face covering, keeping our social distance and washing our hands regularly.
“If we continue to do that and keep infection rates down then I’m sure we will be able to step up the pace of reopening on Monday May 17 and Monday June 21.
“The Covid rates were very low here last summer.
“And I see no reason at the moment why we can’t look forward to having a really good spring and summer this year.
“So far so good,” insisted Mike.
He also slammed an anti-vaccination ‘newsletter’ dubbed ‘The Light’ pushed through letterboxes in Market Harborough.
The black propaganda sheet attacks the safety of vaccines, questions the true threat posed by the coronavirus and blasts Government lockdowns.
“This inane stuff just spreads lies and rubbish.
“My advice to anyone who gets one of these forced through their door is simple – stick it in the bin or burn it on your fire,” said Mike.
“I Googled the editor of this so-called paper to find out more about him.
“And I quickly discovered that he is literally a flat-earther – he believes and argues that the earth is flat!
“That’s all you need to know about him and the stuff that he peddles.
“These people believe in every hoax and every conspiracy theory out there.
“So don’t believe it and don’t believe a single word of what they say,” insisted Mike.