South Holland residents are being urged to continue to socially distance and wash their hands with the area currently having the fifth highest COVID-19 infection rate in England – more than double the national average.
According to the latest government statistics as The Voice went to press on Wednesday, South Holland’s infection rate was 203.1 per 100,000 of the population.
By comparison the average rate in England is 97.1 per 100,000.
There were 193 new cases of the virus reported in the area in the past seven days according to figures published at 4pm on Tuesday.
That’s down from the 199 cases in the seven days before Sunday.
The rate in South Holland fell from a high of 323.3 in mid-January to a low of 156.8 in mid-February but has crept back up since then.
The only places with higher infection rates in the UK are the nearby areas of Corby (264.5), Leicester (217.9), Fenland (214) and Peterborough (209.6).
The leader of South Holland District Council, Lord Gary Porter said he believed the signs are that the high rates in South Holland and the nearby districts are due to the more infectious Kent mutation of the virus being in the area.
He also said the signs are that the infection rate is decreasing, if more slowly than elsewhere in the country.
“The numbers are coming down, albeit not as fast as we’d like,” he said.
“Just a few weeks ago the rate was over 300 per 100,000 population so they’re moving in the right direction.
“Previously we’d had some incidents in care homes but thankfully they’re vaccinated now.
“There’s been minor incidents in a few factories but most cases now seem to be random members of the public and household infections.
“Given the nature of a lot of the employment in the area, people still have to go to work rather than being able to work from home which may be why the rate is falling slower than other areas.
“Given the numbers, not just in South Holland but other areas close by, it looks like the Kent variant, which is more infectious, is around but I can’t swear to that without testing.
“What is vitally important though is both the numbers of those in hospitals and the number of deaths are still going down.
“People need to stick to the social distancing, however painful that still is, keep washing their hands and treat everyone as if they’ve got it.
“I think our population in South Holland has done fantastically. It’s been a hard slog but we’re getting there.
“Those behind the vaccine are doing a fantastic job.”
According to the government stats, in South Holland 181 people have died with COVID-19 listed on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic.
The government statistics on COVID-19 can be viewed here.