TWO places which have not yet been hit by coronavirus lockdowns are now in England’s top 10 infection hotspots.
Corby in East Midlands and South Tyneside in the North East have seen a surge in Covid-19 cases in the last week, new data shows.
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The Northamptonshire town now has the third highest rate in England with 41 new cases, which is equivalent to 56.8 cases per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, South Tyneside in Tyne and Wear has had 62 new cases in the last seven days taking it up from 11.9 to 41.1 cases per 100,000.
Pendle in Lancashire, which is currently under restrictions, remains the worst-affected area in England with 66 new cases recorded in the seven days to August 29 – the equivalent of 71.7 per 100,000 people.
That’s a slight increase from 68.4 in the seven days to August 22.
Emerging hotspot Bolton – where lockdown measures are due to be lifted today – is seeing the second highest Covid rates in England with 170 new cases, having jumped from 18.4 to 59.1 per 100,000.
Other areas where there has been a notable week-on-week jump include Rossendale, with 35 new cases, taking it from 12.6 to 49.0 per 100,000.
In Greater Manchester, Trafford has seen a jump in cases while Leeds in West Yorkshire has also seen a rise – but neither are in the top 10 just yet.
Trafford has gone from 19.4 to 35.4 cases per 100,000, with 84 new cases in the past seven days, and Leeds is up from 18.9 to 31.4 cases per 100,000, with 249 new infections.
The rise in cases in Corby comes after a Wetherspoons worker tested positive for Covid-19.
An employee at the Samuel Lloyd pub in Rockingham Leisure Park had taken a coronavirus test but turned up for work as normal.
The staff member was sent home and their colleagues told to self-isolate, the Northampton Telegraph reported.
Apart from the initial staff member who tested positive, there have been no other positive tests from employees at the pub.
It comes after an M&S sandwich factory in Northampton was forced to close following an outbreak of coronavirus cases.
Nearly 300 workers at the Greencore food production site – the UK’s largest maker of pre-packed sandwiches – tested positive for Covid-19 last month.
All employees and their direct households were told to isolate at home for two weeks on August 21.
Meanwhile, Bolton Council has asked the government not to lift its lockdown restrictions today after a rise in cases.
Bolton is one of several areas across England’s north-west that was due to end local lockdown restrictions imposed on July 31.
However, members of the local council alarmed that the rise in cases has led to a rise in the infection rate.
In the week of August 28, Bolton recorded 170 new cases, more than double the previous week.
Yesterday officials in Bolton discussed measures to tackle a “concerning, sudden and unpredicted” spike in Covid-19 cases.
The decision to lift restrictions in Bolton was announced last Friday.
But daily government data shows 40 new cases were recorded on Sunday – days before restrictions are planned to be eased.
The rise has prompted Bolton council leader David Greenhalgh to arrange an emergency meeting with council and health officials this morning.
In a statement, he said: “I have been in direct communication with council officers this morning about the concerning, sudden unpredicted rise in positive cases in the borough.
“Health officials are collating the current data to provide the full picture for an emergency meeting for officers and the cabinet, set for first thing in the morning, to examine the data in detail and look at the implications.”
For the time being, those in the specified areas will only be banned from entering the homes of other households.
This means that non-essential shops will remain open and people can still go to pubs and restaurants.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock has not ruled out further lockdown restrictions should the current measures fail to slow the rise in cases.
In his statement, he insisted that he was “determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe.”
Over the past month, residents of Bolton were unable to meet in a private home or garden if they did not live together.
The strict rules also stopped people socialising with others they didn’t live with in indoor public venues such as pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals were allowed to go ahead but with a maximum of 30 attendees, while parties and wakes were banned.
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