Covid cases soar in Melton as health officials ask for caution

Covid cases in Melton are now the highest in Leicestershire on the day most restrictions are eased across England.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 3:32 pm
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 3:40 pm
A sign on Burton Road bridge flagging up the Covid-19 test site in Melton EMN-210719-152643001

Latest figures show the infection rate for the borough is now 562.4 per 100,000 of the population. with 276 positive tests in the week to July 12, an increase of 170 on the previous seven days.

The only other county district over the 500 rate is North West Leicestershire, which recorded 533.7.

These rates are much higher than the England national average of 398.6 and the Leicestershire average of 387.6.

Leicestershire County Council’s director of public health, Mike Sandys, has urged country residents to remain cautious despite there being no longer a requirenent to wear face coverings in many settings or to practice social distancing as so-called ‘Freedom Day’ kick in today (Monday).

Mr Sandys said: “At this stage, we’re not looking at any particular links to the rising infection rates, they’re going up all over the county so clearly that is a concern.

“It’s further evidence that we’re not in such a place where we can mix freely and there’s still a need to exercise caution.”

Leicestershire County Council has started a new drive to encourage residents to help stem infection rates with fresh artwork featuring the ‘it’s down to us’ slogan appearing on social media and across the authority’s buildings.

It is reminding people to think about continuing to do the basics – such as ‘popping on a mask when shopping’ and ‘to socially distance as much as you can’.

Around seven in 10 people in Melton are now fully vaccinated which should mean most of those who develop the virus should not fall seriously ill with it but there is still a requirement to ensure hospitals are not overloaded with people being treated for Covid.

Mike Sandys added: “With freedom comes responsibility.

“We do need to learn to live with Covid so, while I want people to enjoy the freedom, I’d urge them not to throw caution to the wind.

“The vaccine programme is doing a great job in keeping down hospital admissions compared to the last wave, but they are rising, and pressure will mount as more people are affected by the virus.

“I’d urge people to get their first and second dose of the vaccine as soon as they can as it could prove to be a life saver.

“It’s now around everyone pulling together to put a lid on the virus and that will happen by sticking to the basics.”

As part of the restrictions being relaxed from today, people will no longer need to book a slot at county council recycling and household waste sites, including those at Melton, Somerby and Bottesford.

Latest Covid rates (per 100,000 of the population):

Melton 562.4

North West Leicestershire 533.7

Charnwood 383.1

Blaby 352.6

Hinckley and Bosworth 325.3

Harborough 303.8

Oadby and Wigston 303.4