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South Holland's council leader is unsure what has caused Spalding area's high infection rate but public health bosses say there aren't any great concerns

South Holland’s council leader is unsure of what has caused the district's high infection rate and ranking in the UK, but has a “number of possibilities”.

Coun Gary Porter has offered some explanation into the potential causes, such as a high manual workforce in food production in the district, secondary school attendance, greater testing capacity and large care home outbreaks.

This comes as South Holland finds itself with the highest infection rate in Greater Lincolnshire and is ranked 76th highest in the UK, according to the latest government data.

Mystery surrounds spike
Mystery surrounds spike

However public health bosses at Lincolnshire County Council say there aren't any great concerns with the district's infection rates.

Coun Porter said: “I think there are a number of possibilities, but there is no empirical evidence available to me to support them. We have a very high manual workforce in food production so this will play some part.

“We also have a high level of school attendance and this will also play a part. We also have a far greater testing capacity than we did previously.”

Coun Gary Porter, leader of South Holland District Council.Photo supplied by House of Lords Press Office. (43189169)
Coun Gary Porter, leader of South Holland District Council.Photo supplied by House of Lords Press Office. (43189169)

He added: “Additionally, we are still getting a couple of large care home outbreaks and if you look at Peterborough, all of the district councils that join [South Holland] have fairly high numbers.”

Andy Fox, Assistant Director of Public Health, said: "Infection rates are continuing to be relatively low in Lincolnshire and the trend is in the right direction so there isn't any great concerns in South Holland. The cases in the district are mostly due to working age adults, associated with some outbreaks in larger workplaces, including food manufacturing."

On Friday, South Holland took the top spot in Greater Lincolnshire with the highest infection rate, followed by South Kesteven.

Over the weekend, South Holland remained at the top spot and increased its infection rate from 259.9 to 275.7 per 100,000 of the population.

From Friday to Sunday, it climbed national ranks from 124th to 76th in the country.

However, the higher ranking is also partly due to other districts across the UK falling rapidly and South Holland increasing slightly.

Last month, there were COVID-19 outbreaks with up to 100 cases at two South Holland care homes, one being a children’s care home.

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