Blackburn Council warn of Leicester-style lockdown as infection rate rises

Blackburn Council has warned of Leicester-style lockdown as infection rate rises in the community. Credit: ITV News

Blackburn with Darwen Council has warned of a Leicester-style lockdown as the Covid-19 infection rate rises in the community.

Although lockdown measures nationally are beginning to ease gradually, Blackburn with Darwen Council are reminding people of the importance of sticking to government rules or risk facing a situation similar to Leicester's local lockdown.

The Council has confirmed in order keep the virus under control, a non-appointment based mobile drive-through testing site for Coronavirus will be set up in Blackburn from Saturday July 11.

No one in Blackburn with Darwen wants to find ourselves in a situation like in Leicester. Please continue to do your bit to stick to the rules to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council

Testing will take place at Witton Park Academy between 11am and 6.30pm every day for the next 7 days.

Testing is open to anyone of any age and those who go for a test will be expected to carry out swabs themselves, which will then be handed to staff and sent for processing.

It is said traffic controls will be at the entrance and people will be directed by medical staff to the testing centres.

The Council say the temporary site will be in addition to the existing testing facility on Old Bank Lane at Royal Blackburn Hospital, which are still available for residents to use.

As of July 10, according to Public Health England data, there had been a total of 1,038 cases in Blackburn with Darwen, 39 of which were reported as new cases in the last week, June 29 - July 5.

Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health, said: "This temporary testing site is open to those in this area of Blackburn and also the wider borough for those who feel they need a test.

"Sites like this allow people to quickly get a test and find out whether they need to quarantine with their household or seek treatment if needed.

Whilst we haven’t had the level of outbreak seen in Leicester and other areas, we are aware of our raised rate of confirmed cases according to recent data.

Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health

"Whilst we haven’t had the level of outbreak seen in Leicester and other areas, we are aware of our raised rate of confirmed cases according to recent data. We are therefore introducing a range of measures to mitigate risks in a proportionate and phased way – and the mobile testing unit is one of them.

"We have also published our outbreak management plan, are stepping up our local prevention work week-on-week with vulnerable settings and are strengthening our communications with key groups.

"We are working closely with the local NHS to make Pennine Lancashire ‘second wave ready’ and are making plans to increase the availability of local testing for higher risk groups.

"My message continues to be: stick to two metres social distancing wherever possible, increase daily handwashing and wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces. For settings such as places of worship, pubs, workplaces and schools, continue to follow the national guidance on making your spaces Covid-safe.

"Above all else, we need to work together to keep Blackburn with Darwen a Covid–safe borough. It’s up to us all to stick by the rules and protect each other.


Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of the Council, added: "We are grateful to the majority of residents who have strictly adhered to the government’s guidance around staying at home as much as possible, and being sensible when they do need to go out.

"No one in Blackburn with Darwen wants to find ourselves in a situation like in Leicester. Please continue to do your bit to stick to the rules to protect yourself and your loved ones."


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