Friday, 30 Oct 2020

Derbyshire lockdown: Is Derbyshire going into lockdown?

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In what was dubbed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as his “whack a mole” strategy, Leicester has been put under local lockdown, meaning businesses have closed, schools shut to all those except children of key workers and non-essential travel out of the area restricted. Now a list of other areas where coronavirus cases have risen has been released, based on changes from June 13 to 19, and June 20 to 26. The Public Health England data comes just days before lockdown conditions ease on July 4.

One area named on the list is Derbyshire, a county in the East Midlands of England which encompasses part of the Peak District National Park.

As part of the Government’s “whack a mole” strategy – a name which has taken inspiration from a fairground game in which players hit toy moles popping up from holes – any areas which are deemed to be verging on outbreaks will be shut down locally.

Speaking in Leicester, Mr Johnson said: “The crucial thing is to make sure we are ready to crackdown on local flare-ups.

“That’s why you see the steps that are being taken in Leicester.”

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Is Derbyshire going into lockdown?

Despite Derbyshire being named as one of the 36 areas with a rise in cases, there has been no official news of Derbyshire going into lockdown as yet.

However, Whitehall sources say the Government has a “watch list” and will be closely monitoring the situation in areas where a rise in infections is reported.

The number of new cases of coronavirus in Derbyshire rose last week, placing it among 36 of the 151 upper-tier local authorities in England where new confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rising.

Derbyshire saw 25 new cases in the week to June 26, an increase of two from the 23 cases recorded the week before.

The total number of active cases in Derbyshire right now according to official Government data is 1,826.

While in Leicestershire, the total number of active cases of COVID-19 stands at 1,422.

Early on in the lockdown, The Derby Telegraph compared Derby, Nottingham and Leicester and found that Derby had the largest number of cases.

However, Leicester reported 944 new cases in the past two weeks, a significant number higher than that of Derbyshire.

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Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield tweeted on Wednesday: “I promised to update people who’d enquired regarding Derbyshire being mentioned as one of the areas with higher COVID results.

“From my early investigations, not huge worry amongst health community a couple of pockets that are subsiding less slowly, but no current alarms.”

In another tweet, Mr Perkins added he “will continue to see what I can find out and if there is anything more concerning coming forward, I’ll let people know.”

High Peak MP Robert Largan also said: “It’s scary that there’s an increase but we have to keep this in perspective – we’re talking about fluctuations which don’t pose much of a threat.

“We have to start reopening the economy as well – the number of jobs that will be lost if lockdown carries on will leave lots of people in deprivation.”

Derbyshire will go ahead with the lifting of lockdown restrictions on July 4 with the rest of the UK.

In response to a member of the public asking whether pubs and restaurants will still be opening on Saturday, July 4 as planned, the Derbyshire Police tweeted: “This will still go ahead in Derbyshire.

“At the moment it’s only Leicester that is in lockdown due to a local spike to them. Thanks.”

Despite this, some businesses have decided not to reopen this weekend.

Becky and Doug Morris who own The Bulls Head in Woodville Road, Hartshorne, Derbyshire have decided not to reopen on July 4, despite restrictions easing for pubs and restaurants on this date.

Speaking to Derbyshire Live Mrs Morris said she fears the county could see a spike again as it has been reported “a number of other areas could also be at risk if infections continue to rise” with public health officials keeping an eye on areas like Derbyshire.

Mrs Morris said: “We were raring to go but I was already anxious because of the responsibility on our shoulders.”

She said: “I saw on the news that Derbyshire was a hotspot and there may be another lockdown and I thought maybe we shouldn’t be opening anyway if it’s that prevalent in Derbyshire.

“We knew when we took the decision it’s not black and white and we know it’s just a possibility but we thought let’s hang fire.”

Why is Leicester in lockdown?

The number of cases in Leicester has spiked toward the end of June, leading the Government to reinstate lockdown conditions for the city and surrounding areas of Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday night, Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “I have chaired an emergency Local Action Committee Gold meeting specifically to deal with the outbreak in Leicester.

“Unfortunately, while cases in most parts of the country have fallen since the peak, in Leicester they have continued to rise.

“The 7-day infection rate in Leicester is 135 cases per 100,000 people, which is three times higher than the next highest city.

“Leicester accounts for around 10 percent of all positive cases in the country over the past week.

“And admissions to hospital are between six and 10 per day rather than around one a day at other trusts.”

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