Preston and South Ribble’s latest coronavirus infection rates have been confirmed on the eve of the city, and county, going into tier-4 restrictions.Advertisement
New cases for Wednesday (30 December) showed Preston had recorded 50 new cases.
South Ribble recorded 34 new cases for the same day.
Wyre was up by 36 new cases, Fylde recorded 15 new cases and Ribble Valley recorded 29 new cases.
Infection rate for Preston is 205.4 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to December 26, this was down from 241 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to December 19.
See the latest coronavirus cases and information for where you live
South Ribble’s infection rate has also continued to fall, down to 169.7, from 185.
Wyre’s rate is rising, at 173.1 from 142.7 – as is Fylde, up to 152.3 from 126.3.
Ribble Valley is one of the areas in Lancashire which has seen a rapid rise in cases in recent weeks, and is now at 328.5 cases per 100,000 people, up from 303.8.
You can see below how Preston and South Ribble’s infection rates have changed in recent weeks. You can see the chart here.
Preston and Lancashire are going into tier-4 restrictions from 00.01 on Thursday (31 December).
Tougher restrictions mean the closure of non-essential shops, reduction of the number of people meeting outdoors to just one other person from another household and a ‘stay at home’ order issued.
Read more: See the full tier-4 restrictions for Preston and Lancashire
The Prime Minister and the national medical director at NHS England have urged the nation to stay home this New Year.
Boris Johnson said: “At this critical moment, with the prospect of freedom within reach, we’ve got to redouble our efforts to contain the virus.
“No-one regrets these measures more bitterly than I do, but we must take firm action now.
“All of these measures in the end are designed to save lives and protect the NHS. For that very reason I must ask you to follow the rule where you live tomorrow night and see in the new year safely at home.
“That means not meeting up with friends or family indoors unless in the same household or support bubble and avoiding large gatherings of any kind
“We are still in the tunnel of this pandemic, the light however is not merely visible … the tunnel has been shortened, we’re moving faster through it and that gives me great confidence about the future in the Spring.”
You can see the full government press conference below
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said: “We know it’s the end of the year, it’s a time where people traditionally want to celebrate,” he said.
“It’s absolutely vital that, this year, everyone continues to follow the guidance by staying at home and not mixing.
“We can all play a part in fighting this terrible virus.
“Covid loves a crowd, so please leave the parties for later in the year.”
Deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said: “It is almost certainly true that the NHS has not yet seen the impact of the infections that will have occurred during mixing on Christmas Day and that is also unfortunately rather sobering.”
Read more: Secondary school pupils to see delayed return in January
During Wednesday morning it was announced the Oxford-Astrazeneca had been approved by medical regulators.
Mr Johnson said: “We will have tens of millions of doses by the end of March, we are working to get the programme going as fast as we can.
“I don’t want to give you specific numbers at the moment, but I can tell you we are shifting heaven and earth to roll them out as fast as we can.”
See where the vaccinations are taking place near you
There was also confirmation that the government would be prioritising giving as many people the first dose of the vaccines as possible.
Medical regulators have also given flexibility on how long it should be between the first dose and the second dose of the vaccines.
Read more: Preston City Council leader reacts to tier-4 decision
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is a great British success story and the reason it matters so much is that this vaccine is easy to administer, it only needs to be stored at a normal fridge temperature so we can get it right out into GPs’ surgeries, into care homes, and critically we’ve got 100 million doses coming so everybody can get vaccinated.
“Because of the way that it’s been approved, because the second dose is only needed after 12 weeks, it means that we can accelerate the rollout of this.”
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines