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How Preston and South Ribble’s coronavirus infection rates changed in November as mass lateral flow test concerns raised

Posted on - 5th December, 2020 - 9:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, Politics, Preston News, South Ribble News
What’s happened in the city’s Covid-19 rates

Preston’s latest coronavirus cases have been confirmed as we can show the impact of the second national lockdown on the city’s Covid-19 infection rate.

The city recorded 52 new coronavirus cases for Saturday (5 December).

South Ribble saw 21 new cases for the same day.

Fylde recorded just eight Covid-19 cases, Ribble Valley saw 10 cases and Wyre 13 new cases.

Infection rate data below shows how Preston’s Covid-19 infection rate has dropped away rapidly since late October.

The rolling seven-day average shows the steep decline in cases being recorded as the government tightened up restrictions from early November. If you can’t see the chart below, then tap this link.

It took a week for the measures to kick in, but the rapid drop can be seen. The infection rate is the number of cases per 100,000 people.

South Ribble had seen a much earlier drop and a slower downward trend has started to slow towards the end of November and then flick back up again – suggest a small spike in cases in the borough.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information for where you live

Lateral flow tests defended

Rapid mass Covid-19 tests have been defended after concerns were raised about their accuracy.

Liverpool saw the roll-out in November of the rapid testing with tens of thousands of tests carried out.

But a British Medical Journal report raised concerns about ‘false negatives’.

Rapid lateral flow tests can turn round a test result in 30 minutes and do not require processing by a lab.

Read more: Grassroots football suspended in Preston and South Ribble until January due to Covid concerns

The government is in the process of sending a million rapid tests to care homes in England to help allow safe indoor visits during Christmas.

Chief medical adviser to NHS Test and Trace, Dr Susan Hopkins, said: “What we are doing here is case detection. We are not saying people do not have the disease if their test is negative.”

Tier-3 areas, such as Preston and Lancashire, have been told to expect mass testing in the coming weeks as part of the government’s plans to be able to move areas down the tier system – if cases are dropping in areas.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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