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Residents urged to 'look out for Lancashire' as Covid infection rates surge

Residents are being urged to 'look out for Lancashire' as the county continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, amid rising infection rates of Covid-19.

Infection rates are surging across the England and the North West following the removal of all legal Covid-19 restrictions last month.

In the Lancashire County Council area, between March 5 and 11 the overall infection rate for all ages rose to 459.2 per 100,000 people – an increase of 80% – according to government data. During the same period the infection rate for the over 60s rose to 415.9 per 100,000 people, a 68% rise.

Covid-related hospital admissions have also been steadily rising across Lancashire's four hospital trusts, with a total of 241 patients admitted on March 8, a jump from 188 seven days prior.

The rise in infections and hospital admissions coincides with the launch of the new 'Looking out for Lancashire' campaign. Developed by the Lancashire Resilience Forum, the campaign asks residents to take small actions to help Lancashire heal and recover, together. 

Covid-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we all need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others. Getting your initial course of a Covid-19 vaccine and a booster is the best way of protecting yourself and others against the virus. Whether it's your first, second or booster dose, it's never too late.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council, said: "After two years of fighting Covid, it is now time to live safely with it.

"As we look forward to the future, it is vitally important that we stay united so that we can tackle the upcoming challenges, together. Right now, that means taking sensible precautions, where we can, to limit the spread of Covid-19 to protect ourselves and others and to minimise disruption to our lives.

"While legal restrictions have now ended for Covid-19, the standard public health advice remains.

"We understand it may not always be possible for people to follow this advice so I would also encourage people to respect others to make their own decisions.

"Now is a time for healing and coming together. Now more than ever, we need everyone to look out for Lancashire."

If you have any of the main symptoms of Covid-19 the public health advice is to order a PCR test, stay at home, avoid contact with other people, and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 and their contacts while you wait for your test result.

If you feel unwell but do not have Covid-19 symptoms, you may still have an illness which could be passed on to other people. Staying at home until you feel better reduces the risk that you will pass on an illness to your friends, colleagues, and others in your community, and will help reduce the burden on our health services.

To see what else you can do to stay safe and help prevent the spread, visit: Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)