Lord Porter of Spalding

South Holland in top 10 of highest COVID-19 infection rates in England – but council leader says rate has slowed after peaking in May

South Holland has had the eighth highest COVID-19 infection rate in England new figures have revealed, though the district council leader has said the spread has now slowed.

According to the latest government’s statistics the district has had 695 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

That works out at 739.5 cases per 100,000 people, the level which the govenment is measuring the rate of infection so it can be compared across the country.

South Holland’s rate is lower than only Leicester (1,068.1 per 100,000), Ashford (981.6), Barrow-in-Furness (890.7), Preston (808.1), Oldham (776.7), Bradford (770.7) and Barnsley (765.1).

The new figures have increased dramatically, up from last week due to the government only now releasing what is called ‘pillar two’ data. This pillar two data relates to positive COVID-19 tests at the likes of pop up testing centres and home testing kits.

Last week South Holland’s published infection rate was around the 260 per 100,000 mark which only accounted for ‘pillar one’ data, that from health care testing at hospitals and care homes.

South Holland District Council leader Lord Gary Porter has said that locally the district saw a spike of cases in May and is now averaging at about “one a day”. He had earlier said he had been “lived” and “apoplectic” at previously being refused much of the data.

He tweeted: “For clarity, the pillar two data on closer inspection showed a peak in May a big reduction in June and in the last two weeks we have only had 20 new cases, so just over one a day. But everyone must stay alert.”

It follows him last week stating that he’d been refused access to South Holland’s statistics after politicians in Leicester said the same about their statistics before the city was placed into a local lockdown on Tuesday.

Lord Porter said on Thursday, July 2: “For the avoidance of doubt. Councils are not getting sight of either, super output data or pillar two data.

“I’ve been asking for all data for South Holland after I realised they were keeping separate sets.

“I’ve seen one lot of pillar two data and have been refused access to it since.”

In a follow up tweet, he said: “Further to this, I’ve now been told that whilst I couldn’t have the data last week because it was too large to disaggregate, I’m now being told that I can’t have it this week because it’s too small and has to be aggregated up.”

But the statistics came through Thursday night, Lord Porter said, before being added to the official totals on Friday.

In Lincolnshire as a whole the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 2,415 which equates to 319.5 cases per 100,000 people.

Nationally there’s been 284,900 confirmed cases and 44,198 deaths as of the latest statistics published yesterday (Saturday July 4).

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