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Health bosses say Lincolnshire should not get over confident as county is placed at medium risk – lowest in Government's new lockdown system

Lincolnshire has been put in the lowest risk category under the Government’s new three tier alert system – but health bosses say the county should not get over confident.

Under the new three-tier response, areas of the country can be placed at medium (tier one), high (tier two) or very high (tier three) risk, with Lincolnshire currently in the medium category.

North and North East Lincolnshire authorities, and neighbouring Leicestershire, are also both under the same tier one, however neighbouring Nottinghamshire is currently in tier two .

Rise in coronavirus cases is 'of concern' says health boss. (42654778)
Rise in coronavirus cases is 'of concern' says health boss. (42654778)

However, Lincolnshire County Council’s director of public health Professor Derek Ward said that lowest tier will “still have a significant number of new cases every day”.

He added: “We are in the lowest lowest level of Covid-alerts as we thought we would be, but that level is called medium for a reason.

"We are seeing significant numbers of positive cases every day, and what that means for the people in the county is we need to be especially vigilant and we need to carry on doing what we’ve done so far.”

Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council. (40485327)
Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council. (40485327)

Prof Ward said a number of criteria will be used to define where an authority rises up the tiers of concern.

Lincolnshire alone has gone from two to four cases a day in the summer to 70-80-plus now.

However, its most recent seven-day infection rate of around 64 per 100,000 of the population is well below the government’s 100 per 100,000 threshold.

In terms of testing, the positivity rate is around three per cent overall, below the government’s 7.5 per cent threshold.

Boris Johnson has annouced a three-tier system of Covid restrictions. Picture: PA (42668641)
Boris Johnson has annouced a three-tier system of Covid restrictions. Picture: PA (42668641)

In South Kesteven, cases have doubled since July.

Council bosses across the county, however, seem to disagree on how the local tier rules should apply.

Lord Gary Porter, leader of South Holland District Council, tweeted: “People don’t live, work or play at a county level, they do it in district, or in some cases sub-district level.

“We won’t be able to credibly tell the residents of South Holland their liberty has to be further curtailed because the infection rate in the city [Lincoln] is going through the roof.”

Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill (Con) also argued “it shouldn’t be on administrative boundaries,” with Lincoln highlighted as a possible hotspot in the county. “We could sort it out locally if allowed,” he tweeted.

Stamford and Grantham MP Gareth Davies (Con) also queried with Prime Minister Boris Johnson if local lockdowns would be "targeted" at specific areas, working in partnership with leaders at Lincolnshire County Council.

However, highways executive at Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor Richard Davies accused Lord Porter of “turning the public health crisis into point scoring over local government simplification” — referring to the ongoing argument over devolution of the Greater Lincolnshire area, which includes the north and north east unitary authorities.

Coun Hill agreed with Coun Porter that local discretion was needed “to target outbreaks without covering the whole of our large geography".

Nearby Rutland is also in tier one.

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