Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Infection rate in Bolton falls but remains highest in England
17 September 2020, 19:17
The infection rate in Bolton has fallen below 200 per 100,000 people but remains the highest in the country as tough lockdown restrictions continue in the Greater Manchester borough.
A total of 546 cases were recorded in the seven days to 14 September - the equivalent of 189.9 cases per 100,000, up slightly from 186.4 in the seven days to 7 September.
According to Public Health England, Bolton continues to record the highest weekly rate in England, while eleven other areas of England now have weekly rates between 100 and 200 cases per 100,000 people.
In Greater Manchester, eight out of ten boroughs are in the so-called 'red alert level' - indicting how prominent the virus is in each area.
Areas of concern include Liverpool, where the rate has jumped sharply from 67.5 to 107.8 with 537 new cases recorded in the latest weekly statistics.
Significant parts of the North East of England have been put under new restrictions, including a 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants.
On Thursday, dozens of people who had booked a Covid-19 test online were turned away from a test site in the town after an IT error.
Bolton Council blamed the national system and expressed its anger at having to intervene and ensure people were still able to get tests.
A spokesperson for the Council said: "We are incredibly frustrated by why has happened today at the Moor Lane test site.
“Something has clearly gone wrong with the national booking system.
“We understand there were IT issues with the government portal, which could have resulted in people either not receiving QR codes or appointments being double booked.
"It has unfortunately meant that people have been turned away despite having appointments.
"It also caused a huge backlog of traffic which resulted in parts of the town coming to a standstill earlier today.
"Council staff physically went to the centre and insisted that people were not turned away, which did help somewhat and motorists were then allowed in.
"We are awaiting an explanation from the government as to what has gone wrong and we urge them to fix this.“This cannot be allowed to happen again."
In the latest daily figures, another 3,395 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours as well as 21 deaths - increasing the seven-day rolling average to 14 deaths per day.