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Covid infection rates in Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire continue to fall as risk of school return ‘spike’ in cases raises pressure on Prime Minister

Posted on - 19th February, 2021 - 7:40pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
The mass vaccination hub in Preston city centre Pic: 70023venus2009
The mass vaccination hub in Preston city centre Pic: 70023venus2009

Preston’s new daily coronavirus cases remained the highest in Lancashire as the infection rates for the city and the county continue to fall.

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New confirmed cases for the city on Friday (19 February) were at 50.

South Ribble recorded 22 new cases for the same day.

Wyre saw 16 new cases and Fylde just 12.

Ribble Valley was up by eight cases and Chorley recorded 28.

Preston’s infection rate is now 228.5 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 15, down from 315.8 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 8. The city remains in the top 20 areas in England for Covid-19 infection rates.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

Data for the most recent four days (February 16-19) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

South Ribble’s rate is now 171.5, down from 272.6 for the same two date periods as Preston.

Wyre’s infection rate is 120.4, down from 149 and Fylde is at 128.7, down from 186.9.

Ribble Valley is at 139.6, down from 172.4 and Chorley’s rate dropped to 176.8, down from 218.2.

Read more: First jabs delivered by Preston’s mass vaccination centre

Gap between Covid jab boosts effectiveness and school return concerns raised

The UK policy of leaving 12 weeks between doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine boosts the jab’s effectiveness, a new study has found.

A single dose of the vaccine offers 76% protection against Covid-19 from 22 days after vaccination, and this does not wane by the three-month mark, researchers say.

With three months between the two doses, there was an overall efficacy of 81% – compared to 55% for a six-week interval, according to the University of Oxford research published in The Lancet.

See the latest coronavirus vaccine stats and information

But the researchers are urging people to have two doses of the vaccine because they say it is not yet clear how long protection with a single dose of the vaccine may last.

The findings support the policy recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for a 12-week interval between doses.

Meanwhile education unions are calling for a staggered reopening of schools in England.

The joint statement is from the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the NAHT school leaders’ union, the National Education Union (NEU), the NASUWT teachers’ union, the National Governance Association (NGA), the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA), Unison, Unite and GMB.

It says: “What we do know is that the full reopening of schools will bring nearly 10 million pupils and staff into circulation in England – close to one-fifth of the population. This is not a small easing of lockdown restrictions. It is a massive step.

“These factors necessitate a cautious approach with wider school and college opening phased over a period of time.”

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to set out his “road map” for easing the lockdown in England on Monday, with the aim of first reopening schools.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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