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Local lockdown: The three areas most likely to follow Leicester over coronavirus outbreak
1 July 2020, 15:26
Rochdale, Bradford and Barnsley are the three areas most likely to follow Leicester in having a local lockdown.
Leicester's schools close after today, while non-essential shops and pubs will not open on Saturday along with the rest of the country.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that one in every 10 coronavirus cases over the last two weeks was in the town.
Now, official data from Public Health England shows three other areas are showing a rise in cases while the rest of the UK is falling.
In Leicester, the seven-day infection rate was 140 cases per 100,000 people, the highest in the country.
In the three new regions at risk, those figures are:
Bradford - 69.4 per 100,000 people
Barnsley - 54.7
Rochdale - 53.6
The next regions below them are:
Bedford - 42
Oldham - 38.6
Rotherham - 33.6
Tameside - 33.3
Blackburn with Darwen - 32.9
Kirklees - 30.3
Sir Steve Houghton, a councillor in Barnsley, insisted residents still needed to be cautious as pubs re-open, but he does not believe the area is heading for another lockdown.
He said: "Throughout the course of the outbreak we have seen higher rates of Coronavirus locally than the national average. We have seen a much slower reduction than the national average, such that daily cases levelled off through May and June, instead of continuing to reduce.
"This has been largely due to local clusters of cases including in a few care homes and workplaces. The good news is that now these clusters have started to ease thanks to local control measures, and we are seeing the early signs of a return to the reduction in daily cases across Barnsley.
"According to our most up to date data, we have seen a reduction in the number of daily new cases and in the average number of new cases for four consecutive days.
"This is why we do not believe at this stage any further measures will need to be implemented such as the ones seen in Leicester. "