Slough is not close to a local lockdown, the council has said.
As Leicester goes back into lockdown, it has left many of us fearing our local area could be next. This comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock last month said that regional flare-ups of the virus in England would result in ‘local lockdown’.
He told a Downing Street briefing there would be ‘local lockdowns in the future’ with the Joint Biosecurity Centre having a ‘response function’ that could address local spikes in infections, in partnership with local public health agencies.
Mr Hancock has said that under local lockdowns schools, businesses or workplaces could be closed in areas with a high prevalance of infection.
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It was then revealed that areas with case numbers on the rise included Slough. Upon looking at the figures, there has been a 50 per cent increase in cases in the last few weeks. However, Slough Borough Council has shot down rumours it could go into lockdown.
They explained that there have been just five new cases in the last two weeks, and that due to its relatively small population of 150,000 people, it appears much more of an increase that in reality. There are 469 cases of coronavirus in Slough.
They also warned that the Covid-19 situation in the area is ‘in no way over’.
The figures, published by Public Health England, show the rate of new cases in each area, based on tests that have been carried out in laboratories (‘pillar 1’ of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (‘pillar 2’). However, local councils have not released the most recent pillar 2 figures, meaning the amount of people with coronavirus in each area could be much higher.
A spokesperson from Slough Borough Council said: “Despite what has been said in any national news stories, Slough is not currently close to a local lockdown.
“Unfortunately the data reported is using percentage increases in local cases across the country without reference to the actual very small number of cases involved or perspective.
“This data shows Slough has two new cases in one week and three the following week, which though a 50 per cent increase, is very small numbers in a population of around 150,000 people.
“As a local authority and with our health partners, we are keeping a very close eye on the data available for Slough and working to improve the data we are receiving so we can take action swiftly if we need to.
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“We have been clear in our communication to residents that they should continue to follow all the guidelines on distancing, hand washing, travel, gatherings and face coverings as we know Covid-19 is still circulating in our town and the situation is in no way over.
“However we would like to reassure residents we are not currently at risk of a local lockdown and people shout not worry unduly, but be sensible and take appropriate measures to protect themselves, their families and communities.”